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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

585

Engagement Stories, Cuddling, and Wonderful Boyfriends

1. I’ve never met anyone with whom I have half as much in common as my boyfriend of two years. We agree on the big issues — kids, money, life goals — plus most little ones — best dog breed, TV/movie preferences. We attended school together from elementary through high school (different social circles) and then got the same degree. We’re excited about marriage. He accepts my biggest flaws and I accept his. I love him with my entire heart, and I’d do anything for him.

Here’s the BUT: my wonderful boyfriend cheated on me a few months ago. They made out twice, he broke up with me out of guilt, and then slept with her. Within four days he came back and confessed to the post-breakup sex part, while SHE sold him out about the pre-breakup part. Many cries, talks and yells later, I decided to give him another chance.

We were doing really well rebuilding trust until this week. He’s gotten close with a school friend. I got anxious, he offered to stop talking to her, and I said not to do that. Then I found out he’d emailed her, “Is it possible I’m thinking about you too much?” This ENGAGED woman responded “I hope not, I am too.”

Here’s where I don’t know if I’m giving him too much credit: he HAS tried to get a double-date so we could all meet, and he HASN’T hidden the friendship. He admits the email was inappropriate but swears that’s it. Am I stupid? Does it even matter if he wasn’t going to cheat? Should I leave him and risk never finding someone so suited to me again?

I feel like this is a little trite to say, but I get the feeling what where there's smoke, there's fire. Something about the sequence of this "wonderful boyfriend" (red flag in any AaMD letter) cheating, breaking up, snogging, and coming back within days rubs me the wrong way. I mean, he certainly escalated the conflict quickly after allegedly breaking up "out of guilt," which sounds more like he was breaking up so he could go forth and fornicate free on the technicality that you guys were no longer together. 

So, he's got a history of fishy behavior. Now he's getting all lovey-dovey with an engaged woman in email (and who knows where else). I don't care about how allegedly up front he's being about the relationship, he's got to know that he's a marked man. Even if he's just being a complete dope and there's nothing going on with, you know, an engaged woman, he's being completely insensitive to how it might affect you. You, the person who gave his cheating ass a second chance. Dude should be acting like a straight arrow out on parole, checking in with his parole officer before leaving the city limits and avoiding any known criminals. Instead he's trying to force some sort of sit-down with what he admitted was the object of an inappropriate communication. The one that you found, anyway.

Now, I'm not really going to get into how you found that email exchange, but I can bet that there was some snooping involved. So, you don't really trust him. For legitimate reasons. I don't really condone the invasion of privacy, even though he has yet to earn your trust. You guys have got to iron that out if you're going to make any significant progress as a couple. At some point, he may pay his debt to society (you), and be a fine partner. But his behavior and your suspicions are not how to get there. He seems to be able to explain or apologize his way out of behavior that is hurtful to you, and you are giving him daylight to wriggle out of situations where you could legitimately nail his ass to the wall. You are giving him too much leash, and unfortunately it appears that he's taking advantage of it.

2. This year I gave up on my bachelor's and launched myself into a cool radio broadcasting program. Early on in one of my courses our class was divided into several groups, and my group included a guy we’ll call Kyle.

Kyle and I quickly became friends as the only two competent people in our group, getting shit done and taking grades. This continued on and soon we were spending time together outside of class and being all friendly. One Friday he came over and stayed later than usual. He missed the last bus home and I invited him to spend the night on the floor of my room.

Now, he's married. And nine years my senior. He called his wife, and explained to her that he was stuck, but he said he was at his guy friend's house. We talked about this later and he assured me that he didn't tell her because he knew she would freak out,  but that he does tell her the rest of the time we hangout. Instead of sleeping that night, we talked for eight hours. About four hours in, we both ended up in bed together (in what I felt was a platonic fashion). We did cuddle, but nothing crazy happened.

I feel like this night greatly improved our friendship and we still talk all the time. He's never slept over again, but I think he would if the opportunity came up, and I don't think I'd mind.

It also has recently come to light that he has a thing for me. Which freaks me out because, did I say this already? He's married. I still want to be his friend but he's getting kind of clingy. What do I do? Will we work past it? Am I abusing our friendship for platonic cuddling from a married man who has a thing for me? Am I an idiot?

Let's just re-read those last two sentences out loud, as a class: "Am I abusing our friendship for platonic cuddling from a married man who has a thing for me?" Holy shit, yes. "Am I an idiot?" No, not an idiot, but there's got to be a word for someone who cuddles with married men and thinks it's still platonic. Cock-tease? Home-wrecker?

Okay, that was super harsh. But honestly, what's going on with you that you can't recognize that 1) this is totally inappropriate activity with a married man, 2) there's nothing really platonic about a married man seeking intimacy ("cuddling") from someone who is not his wife while lying to his wife in the process, and 3) his clinginess is kind of your fault, and you are taking advantage of it for some sort of benefit to you. He's certainly on the ragged edge of infidelity, and acting in a way that is betraying his marriage. But you're not helping things. Dudes are usually going to take any sort of physical proximity like sharing a bed as some sort of invitation or consent. Do you really feel like Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson were having a platonic relationship in Lost In Translation? That would make for one boring-ass movie, even with a backdrop of Shinjuku.

I'm a little concerned at your inability to recognize some warning signs here. Cuddling is cute — like "kicking ass and taking grades" — but I think you need to ask yourself what you are getting out of this friendship. Attention? Perhaps the danger of hanging out with a married man? Either that, or you're just equivocating like mad and you really do have a thing for a married guy. That's a different letter, entirely. End this friendship before someone really gets hurt.

3. Married Dude, can you tell us the story of buying your wife her ring and/or proposing? We hear a lot about this stuff from women, it'd be nice to hear a strange man talk about it on the internet!

Truth be told, I'm sorta proud of how I pulled all of that off. I went full-on Commando — no, I wasn't naked — and decided to buy her engagement ring in secret, on my own, without asking her what kind of ring she liked (or if she even wanted to get married). I tried polling her friends and select family members in confidence, but they came up empty on any material guidance in terms of what she might have wanted in a ring. In the end, I was on left to my own interpretation.

I'm very lucky in that the woman I married has very simple, elegant, classic tastes that eliminated the notion that she'd want a huge garish Real Housewives rock that she could pick her nose with. This made the ultimate selection of the ring easier, albeit no less nerve-wracking. I have a hard enough time selecting a pair of sneakers to buy, so throw in cut, clarity, color and carat weight, and I might as well have been the proverbial dog with two bones. Suffice to say I got luckier in that she absolutely loves the ring, so apparently I did just fine.

I proposed to her in one of our favorite restaurants — where she first professed her love for me — which sadly no longer exists. The restaurant, not her love. I'd planned ahead: I let the staff know what I was up to, arranged for a bottle of champagne to be standing by, and made plans with the coat check. You know what's more stressful than boarding a subway train with an engagement ring in your pocket? Handing your life savings over to a total stranger in the coat check. I wanted the classic open-the-clamshell experience when I popped the question, but the box was too big and unwieldy to conceal in my pocket without telegraphing some sort of priapism. So I conspired with the coat check girl that I would leave the ring in my coat pocket, and at some point during the appetizers, I'd excuse myself to use the can, retrieve the ring, and set the wheels of the rest of my life in motion.

Me being me, I arrived at the restaurant a full 25 minutes early and promptly camped out at the bar to steel my nerves. I handed my coat-wrapped-engagement-ring off to the coat check, confirmed my arrangements with the staff, clocked all possible exits, and ordered a stiff drink. And then another. By the time my girlfriend arrived, I was definitely loose and almost forgot why we were there (kidding!). I wanted to propose early, so we could both either enjoy our dinner or figure out who was going to move out of our apartment. I think she was wise when I skipped ordering a bottle of wine, knowing champagne was coming, then high-tailed it to the "bathroom" to collect the ring. The package in hand, I headed back to the table, feigned interest in a phantom dropped napkin under her chair, and awkwardly dropped to a knee. I proposed, she said "No"! (Apparently, as in, "No way!", an alleged exclamation of disbelief. I still hold this against her.)

No one in the restaurant batted an eye. Ah, to get engaged in the anonymity of a crowded New York.

Later, we went to the Top of the Rock to celebrate. Most expensive bottle of champagne I've ever ordered, but hey, they gave us chocolate-covered strawberries. The next day, my newly-minted fiance remarked, through a well-earned hangover: "I've never felt so good and so bad at the same time."

Previously: Drinking, Pets, and Babies.

A Married Dude is one of several rotating married dudes who don't claim to know everything about marriage. Do you have any questions for A Married Dude? (300-word max, please.)

Photo by Patsy Michaud, via Shutterstock

585 Comments / Post A Comment

parallel-lines

My wonderful boyfriend is really wonderful, except not really at all.

Girl, you know what to do.

The Lady of Shalott

@parallel-lines Oh yes. "My boyfriend is wonderful, we agree on everything, we're madly in love and he treats me wonderfully. The only thing is that on the weekends, he murders unsuspecting tourists and stuffs their bodies in a storm drain. What should I do on weekend evenings alone? I can only spend so much time with my girlfriends!"

parallel-lines

@parallel-lines I just cuddled with a married man, you know, nothing happened.

COME ONE PEOPLE WITH THIS BUSINESS! Something happened--cuddling and lying. One of these things is fine and one is not.

SarahP

@parallel-lines Neither of those things is fine if they occur together.

noodge

@parallel-lines these first two letters were full of face-palminess. chock full.

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@teenie Right? I *literally* face-palmed when I got to the sentence "it has recently come to light that he has a thing for me. YA THINK??

bitzy

@The Lady of Shalott My boyfriend seems so smart but also I'm worried about my boyfriend.

aphrabean

@parallel-lines I genuinely thought, for one brief moment, "Oh, FINALLY! An actually wonderful boyfriend!"

PistolPackinMama

@parallel-lines Seriously. This could be the cut and paste wise answer to many, many of these letter. Yes.

sparrow303

@parallel-lines I feel like when one day you suddenly find yourself writing A Dude or A Lady, you probably should realize the answer right then and there.

Also this: http://yoshouldidumpthisahole.com/

Time Platypus

@aphrabean There should be a thread sometime of people talking about their actually wonderful dudes/ladies, without it being a prelude for telling abut their horribleness. You know, so we don't have to be horribly suspicious whenever someone seems awesome.

fondue with cheddar

@parallel-lines Seriously. There's an easy way to answer this question. How would YOU feel if your husband cuddled in bed with another woman? Yeah, that's what I thought.

JBenSmalls

@quickdrawkiddo There is little that is more annoying than LWs who write letters like LW2 pretending to be clueless so that a Married Dude and Commenters won't tear them to pieces. And it never works. I feel like everyone sees right through LW2s feigned obliviousness.

Blushingflwr

@jen325 It would actually depend on the circumstances. My best friend is now married to a man with whom I cuddled often. In fact, the three of us used to cuddle in her bed in college (three grown people in a twin bed is a cuddling feat, let me tell you) in a way that was completely platonic (for me, at least, and for them too for a while). And I've known other people who would be fine with it (either in a polyamory way or in a "no big deal" way). However, I recognize that that's the exception, not the rule, and if you're lying about it, it means you think there's something in it your partner wouldn't like. I've never had a problem with my partners having close female friends, but I do have a problem with them doing something they think they need to lie about.

The Lady of Shalott

Can we discuss the Engagement Ring surprise-or-no thing? Example: My parents picked out my mom's ring together, a pretty marquise-cut emerald in a gold setting. Almost everyone I know who's been engaged in the past ten years has done the "total surprise" thing--but almost all of those rings have been classic diamond-solitaires.

I'm on the fence. On the one hand, if I'm going to wear a ring for the rest of my life, I damn well want some input on it. On the other hand, should I trust my dude to know my taste about something like that? My own consensus is "give him directions and CLEAR IDEAS and discussions about what I want, and then trust him." Unless he wants to pick it out together, in which case...good!

SarahP

@The Lady of Shalott I don't like surprises and, if asked, would not have been into a surprise ring... but I got one anyway, and I LOVE IT. It turns out my husband knew my taste almost exactly, and even remembered a comment I'd made years before about preferring rubies to diamonds. However, I agree with your consensus--that's what I advise people to do, and sort of what I did through other past jewelry gifts he'd given me.

Jaya

@The Lady of Shalott I think the give him clear ideas then trust him would totally work. I've shown my boyfriend the kind of stuff I like (we talk about marriage a lot, I'm not crazy I swear), and every once in a while he'll pull up something and ask me if it's something I'd like, and it pretty much always is. At this point I know he knows my taste, so whenever it happens I'm sure I'll like it.

Steph

@The Lady of Shalott I kind of walked a line in the middle. I sent him a whole bunch of specific examples of what I wanted (Ie no diamonds, colored stone, simple band etc.) and also the link to an etsy shop I particularly liked. He took a bunch of elements I loved and put them all together so the ring was a surprise but the fact that I loved it was not.

Porn Peddler

@The Lady of Shalott Mister generally has great taste but I am so with you on wearing that shit forever. I'm the one who has to look at it all the time. I guess I kind of want a...boring mutual proposal? Because I want my man to have a rock, too?

No, wait, I don't even know if I want to get married. Getting way ahead of myself.

Amanda Webber@facebook

@The Lady of Shalott Sigh. I went with my (now) husband to pick out the ring, and it's perfect! I really love it. But then, sometimes I do wonder what it would've been like if he'd done something crazy romantic and actually proposed (instead of "Hey, we should probably get married so you can be on my health insurance. You want to look at rings?"). That's probably just the part of me that's watched too many romcoms though.... right??

finguns

@The Lady of Shalott The surprise thing bugs the shit out of me. It's like saying the dude gets to decide whether and when to get married AND how to symbolize it with no input from his gal except her baited breath. (I'm assuming, possibly wrongly, that the surprise engagement BS is less of a thing for same sex couples.) WTF with leaving all this in your husband's hands?

That said, my husband surprised me with a ring and I lurve it greatly. So. I = hypocrite. Happy, happy hypocrite.

noodge

@all - per Mr. Teenie's request, I had given him the login and password to my etsy account, where I make lots of "favorites" and he could see what I liked.
BUT...
in the end, we realized that we have a really beautiful heirloom wedding set of my grandmothers - exactly the thing I would have picked out for myself, and he got permission from my family to use it. And he proposed with a coconut shell ring (because he didn't want to take these diamonds to central america) so I wear them both, and I love them both.

ms. alex

@The Lady of Shalott I like how my husband and I got engaged, and we did it in the most boring way possible: we went for a drive, talked about marriage, decided to get married, and then a week later went and picked out a ring. Then, when it came in a few weeks later, I went and picked it up myself and put it on my own finger right away because he was out of the country for ten days visiting his sister and there was no way I was going to wait to wear that ring.

Hebrew-Ham Lincoln

@all HAHA I wish I could have a secret...my brother sells diamonds...so I have no choice in the matter. He's already told my boyfriend to go through him (awkward much). I now have to hint to my brother as to what I like (also, kind of awkward).

Reginal T. Squirge

If this were ever to happen with me (which is kind of like saying, "If I were ever to go to the moon.") I'd be all about the surprise proposal because anything else just KILLS the romance/good story. That said, you do the Full Surprise Proposal with the risk of being shut right the fuck down. Which is a risk I'd be willing to take.

But never in public. It's a gross display of your happiness in the face of probably at least a few sad people just trying to get through the night but it also puts a lot of pressure on the proposee.

dotcommie

@The Lady of Shalott I'd be into a surprise. The dude and I have been discussing marriage and I've been saying loud, general statements like "boy, I hope no one ever buys me any blood diamonds!" (that's really my only standard--that and nothing gaudy. i don't really have taste in fine jewelry?)

rabbitheart

@The Lady of Shalott I am firmly in the no surprise camp. My now-husband was asking me to marry him ALL THE TIME, right from when we first started dating. I finally indulged him a few years later, but I designed the ring (I had my grandmother's stones to work with) and he pretty much stayed mum knowing I was the one that was going to wear it. I'm not the type to rock a traditional solitaire, so it worked out.

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@Reginal T. Squirge I am right there with you on all counts. I don't really do relationships so proposals and rings and all that still belong to the realm of "things that happen in the movies," as far as I'm concerned. And public proposals make my skin crawl -- I'm always like "who are you REALLY doing this for?" But all that anti-romance aside, if I'm gonna get hitched, I want the guy to be sweating it about whether I'll say yes up until the last second, so surprises are the only way to go.

JadedStone

@The Lady of Shalott I thought.. you didn't wear the engagement ring forever? You just wear that one till you get married, and you wear a wedding ring forever. So... you get to go out together and pick a wedding ring?
...I have no idea. I really like the wedding belly ring but that's cause I loathe wearing rings.

null

@The Lady of Shalott I guess I'd prefer that my boyfriend used a decoy ring to surprise propose and then took me ring shopping after. He has great taste and we've actually discussed at length the kind of ring I'm down with, but if he wants me wearing that shit every day then I need to sign off on it.

The Lady of Shalott

@Jade I don't know anyone who's completely left their engagement ring after getting married. I'm certainly not going to have my dude spend a couple thousand bucks on a ring I'm only going to wear for under a year! I think most women wear their wedding ring all the time after the wedding, but the engagement ring becomes something secondary--maybe not every day, but still frequently.

Some women have the engagement and wedding ring soldered together after the ceremony.

Maria

@The Lady of Shalott I always thought I wanted to be surprised with the ring. However, my dude surprised me with the proposal (I was thinking it was going to be a year or so later), and then we picked out the ring together. And it all turned out just wonderfully. I got the conflict-free diamond I wanted, and the surprise was the spontaneous when and where. He got to not stress about getting the right thing.

JadedStone

@The Lady of Shalott OH. and NO I would probably never ever wear a ring my boyfriend chose. He is wonderful but has an overwhelming love of shiny yellow gold. Like a magpie.

Reginal T. Squirge

@klaus

Decoy ring is a good idea! I'll have to remember that for when I get to my fantasy proposal/ visit the moon.

beanie

@The Lady of Shalott since I am a picky person I emailed a picture of the setting I wanted (sooo subtle) but he still had to go into the store himself and "design" it. So it was still a surprise in the fact that I had no idea when it was coming (or that he had even bought it) but I got some say in the piece of jewelry I am going to be looking at for the REST OF MY LIFE. *said in spooky voice*

themmases

@The Lady of Shalott I do not want to be surprised, and my boyfriend knows it. He has great taste, and he remembers stuff about my taste that I forgot I even said, and I'm sure that if he surprised me with jewelry it would be a really pretty thing that I would like. But, I really don't wear jewelry except for the occasional cheap necklace. I like that about myself. I want an engagement sofa. He knows what kind.

Last year we split a cheap sofa with a similar-ish look to the eventual engagement sofa, because we know we will only be sitting on it for a couple of years. I don't know, I think that's pretty romantic and also a pretty good story. A thoughtful guy could surprise me with pretty jewelry, but if he didn't know this about me he wouldn't know me well enough to get married.

cecil hungry

@The Lady of Shalott I've mentioned several times to my BF exactly which of my friends he should ask about rings. We've agreed we're on the track to getting married, but neither of us are quite ready for that step yet. I'm hoping it'll be a surprise exactly WHEN and HOW, but not that it's happening. And my friend knows what I like (not big, not diamonds), so as long as he listens to her...

null

@Reginal T. Squirge Dude, you have the face of a doe -- no planetary travel will be required, trust.
(Not to mention you're now well versed on all manner of opinions re: women's eyebrow grooming habits! Add THAT to your OKC profile.)

Scandyhoovian

@The Lady of Shalott For me, the ring itself was not a surprise--he asked me about my preferences and wanted it to be something that I would truly love to wear, as I am notoriously picky about jewelry (to the point that most friends and family say they prefer not to gift me with it, which I am fine with, because lord knows I'd rather pick out my own jewelry I love than have a bunch I never wear 'cause I don't like it).

But the actual PROPOSAL, that was a surprise. I only knew, because of the ring-specifics, that it was in my nearish future, but I had no idea about how and when he was going to do it. And as someone who usually dislikes things that I am not prepared for, I loved every second of this particular surprise.

Reginal T. Squirge

@klaus

I'm pretty sure I'm never going to mention eyebrows ever again for the rest of my life. I don't even know what you're talking about. What are eyebrows!?

PistolPackinMama

@The Lady of Shalott My dad got my mom's in Hong Kong in the jewelry market while on R&R in Vietnam. It's a beautiful solitaire. Lucky he has good taste in rings, because there was no shared choosing.

Olivia2.0

@The Lady of Shalott This seems to be a regional thing - I think...I had a friend that did this, but her engagement ring was also a black pearl, so it was really too soft to wear everyday.

Bambi

@The Lady of Shalott My proposal and ring were a total surprise and I loved them both. For me, the ring is a symbol and doesn't have to be something that I would pick out, because it isn't just about me. Yes, it's my finger, but still, he could've gotten me a tiny little band with a tiny little semi-precious stone and I would have LOVED it (he got a simple small solitaire, that's really sparkly). That fact that he's asking and providing the jewelry to seal the deal, is more than enough for me.

Porporina

@The Lady of Shalott So...I got engaged this past weekend (Congratulations. How nice for you.)! My ring is a cute little moonstone number that I picked out at a new agey witchy woo woo store. We planned everything together (and by that I mean we decided on Thursday to do it on Saturday before an Alien(s) marathon at our friends house). My dude has designs to make me a ring in the not too distant future, I'll have input on it, but I think that one will be a bit more of a "surprise".

Melusina

@The Lady of Shalott Just for what it's worth, my mother used to work in a jewelry shop, and would frequently see the drama play out of the woman falling in love with a ring that was clearly out of her fiance's price range. She is against joint ring shopping expeditions as a result. But obviously it works for some people.

My dude surprised me with a vintage ruby ring, which was exactly what I wanted but had never articulated to anyone. I still don't know how he did it. I guess he knows me pretty well.

H.E. Ladypants

@Scandyhoovian I've sort of determined that when the time comes for the question popping, I'd like to be the one to do the popping. This is mostly because due to a conversation we had once, I think it would thrill and please my beau to no end to be on the receiving end of a proposal. And I like making my beau happy!

Problem, though: Dude does not like rings. I've even tried the very not blatant, "okay but if you WERE to wear a ring, what would you like?" and it's gotten me nowhere.

What do you guys think? As a lady should I still be looking at getting him a ring (eventually)? Should I look for other jewelry things? Should I consider popping the question sans sparkly item, anyway, since dudes don't usually wear engagement rings?

thebestjasmine

@The Lady of Shalott For one of my best girlfriends, she wanted to be surprised, but she also wanted to make sure that she liked the ring. So she and I went ring shopping together, and then her boyfriend knew that I knew all of her tastes and could help him. I told him a bunch of stuff, he sent me some links to see if she would like them "NO. Yes, except for that part. etc." and then he went and got something perfect. It worked well.

I have another friend who hated her surprise ring and they had to get a different one a few months later, so.

Scandyhoovian

@Melusina I would say though, that falling in love with a ring out of the price range is hardly ever an ENORMOUS MAJOR CRISIS, because nowadays there are so many avenues by which to acquire a ring that surely there is a cheaper ring in a very similar design that can be found with a bit of looking.

Then again, there are always the "this one or NO DICE" people, whether it's with a ring or a pair of jeans or a house or an anything else, so... sigh.

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@H.E. Ladypants I would eschew the jewelry motif altogether, especially if he didn't take the bait when you were all "but about this hypothetical ring!" You're already going non-traditional which I TOTALLY applaud, so you might as well go the whole hog and think of some fun way to propose that's personal to you guys. I think the whole jewelry = TRUE LOVE 4EVA idea is kind of overrated anyway, but what do I know? :)

Sister Administrator

@The Lady of Shalott I was proposed to once and it was a complete surprise. It was all very, very planned out. He had picked the ring, the weekend, the spot he would propose, (which was visible from space so we could point it out to our future children on a globe I guess). He had a handwritten page in which he detailed, from the perspective of the future and in past tense, the course of our lives together. This was a man I was moving to the States with, and who, if I had thought about it, I would have considered marriageable... but marriage had not been on my mind in the slightest, and we had not discussed it at all.

Hindsight: 1) the whole thing was all about him, down to a grand narrative of "our" lives literally composed by him in advance and 2) My initial reaction, which I maybe should have trusted, was anger. Like if I'd been the butt of a practical joke on tv, or something. Frustrated tears. That shoulda told me something.

Long story short, in the 30 minutes that followed I decided that, well, I loved him and sure as hell wasn't going to do any better (it was kind of a low period for me), and so with my acceptance I set the course for a few years of (in retrospect) ill-advised matrimony. I will say the ring was pretty nice.

Well, I'm secretly terrified my current boyfriend will try to pull something like this. Lord knows I'm not getting any younger, but I'm really not sure if I want to get married again, and I'm afraid that some stupid comments I make will be taken as hints.

I can see the value of surprise (well at this point, not even, but if you're into it I won't judge), but only if it's clear it's what you both want. If the proposee is blindsided and forced to make what's a life changing decision on the spot, that's not great. Even worse is if the secrecy and surprise just go to show that you're an extra in the grand storyline of his life.

Porporina

@quickdrawkiddo I agree, just propose to him with something he likes. I had a lady friend who proposed to her dude with a belt buckle!

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@Porporina AAAAAH I love that! What a fantastic idea.

themmases

@Sister Administrator Ew, I am so sorry. :( I agree with you that I can see the value of the surprise, which can be cute, but only if it's not a total surprise. The other fun surprises in people's lives are, what, surprise birthday or retirement, etc. parties? Lots of people like those, but at least they know what day it is when it happens. Likewise I think if you're going to surprise propose to someone, they should at least know they're getting married already.

I feel like your comment touches a bit on LW1 too-- it is so easy to feel that way about a longstanding relationship, that the person or connection is too good and you'll never have that again. I felt that way about my last one even though, looking back, it was... laughable? The me I remember in that relationship is so so young.

If you're worried about avoiding a surprise from another well-meaning guy, I would try to be honest about it. It can be really hard to bring up what we want or don't want on this topic in particular... I always used to feel like my boyfriend would think I was hinting or just trying to seem "cool" but deep down really wanted the ring. But someone who thinks that "hey, I had this really bad experience in a previous serious relationship, please don't do anything like that" is really "ring plz" they're probably not even continued acquaintanceship material.

Dorothea

@The Lady of Shalott my fantasy engagement/wedding: in 2 or so years, my boyfriend and i are spending some low-key romance time together (sitting on a bench in a park watching babies and birds or something, holding hands). i say to him, "let's get married," and he says, "yes!" (this could happen the other way around, nbd.) no engagement ring, but i'll pick out a pretty wedding band. then we go to city hall and get hitched (or maybe the judge i clerked for marries us), and we have big party with all our friends.

Dorothea

@themmases engagement sofa!! i love this idea. since i'm leaning no-engagement right, i've been trying to come up with a nice mutually beneficial gift to give to ourselves instead.

Onymous

@H.E. Ladypants Get your names engraved on a nice rock or shiny metal lump/ball? Put that in jewelry box.

you know something that would look nice on a mantleplace or bookshelf in a little display.

Sister Administrator

@themmases It isn't like, a real fear exactly, because I think I've been fairly clear about things. But I guess what I'm afraid of is what you mention, that my disinterest will be perceived as feigned, or disingenous, because all Ladies must want the ring, the dress, etc.

mynamebackwards

@The Lady of Shalott my dude, while wonderful in many respects, has horrible taste in jewelry but he went ahead and picked out my engagement ring without any advice from any of my friends. unsurprisingly, he picked a truly terrible ring (much to the horror of my friends who probably should have been consulted along the way). wearing that ring was like having an ugly baby...people would beg to see it then immediately regret the decision because then they didn't know what to say :( after I did much soul-searching and crying, because I felt like the worst person in the world for not loving the ring that he had chosen, I fessed up. it turns out that his feelings were only minisculely hurt, I got to go buy the antique emerald of my dreams and now we're happily married foreverandever. he still buys me ugly jewelry, but at least it's not ugly jewelry I have to wear every day for the rest of my life.

I guess what I'm saying is, don't feel bad about being involved and saying what you want.

redheaded&crazy

I definitely would want our decision to get married to be mutual. Not a surprise! MUTUAL! But I kind of would like to be surprised with a romantic proposal. And I want a ring. Not necessarily a diamond ring unless it's an heirloom. But I would not want the ring to be picked out for me! I want to have a say in that as well.

I can't tell where this places me on the Feminist Spectrum. I hope I still meet the minimum requirements.

Maria

@redheaded&crazie IMHO: Feminism and romance need not be in any way mutually exclusive.

H.E. Ladypants

@Onymous After reading suggestions, I may have spent a good half an hour trolling around on the internet for super fancy custom D&D minis.

Yeah. We're that nerdy. Would def mean more to him than a ring, though!

Bittersweet

@redheaded&crazie My long-time boyfriend and I had been talking about marriage for years, but at one point he told me he was going to pick out the ring and surprise me with the proposal. I said great. He pulled off an amazing, romantic surprise proposal on "our bench" at the pond in our college arboretum and pulled out a beautiful, very small diamond engagement ring that he'd bought by saving part of his grad school stipend (by eating PB&J and salad every day for a year).

All this to say, I kind of don't care where this places me on the Feminist Spectrum, because it all happened perfectly and I have the most wonderful husband in the world.

EpWs

@The Lady of Shalott Clear ideas and then trusting him. I have been ordered not to ask any more engagement questions because he knows what I like and what rules I have (please no diamonds, don't spend the price of a vehicle on it). I am a huge fan of surprises so I am doing my very best to keep my mouth shut now. (His quote "I've got this, calm yourself woman.")

PatatasBravas

@The Lady of Shalott The thing that caught me off guard in AaMD's response was that he wrote, decided to buy her engagement ring in secret, on my own, without asking her what kind of ring she liked (or if she even wanted to get married). The not asking about wanting to get married made me flinch a bit. I am very glad it has worked out so well for the both of them! But if my Gentleman Caller had not asked me about my inclinations towards marriage and towards marrying him in particular, then I would have had a realllllllllly different response.

ANYWAYS, in regards to proposals/rings, I would need to know that a proposal was imminent. I don't have a lot invested in a specific engagement form/formality, so rings are good, whatever, I have long skinny fingers and therefore like sort of more delicate rings, and any stone or no stone is fine by me. I would like to buy him a ring too! Or some sort of engagement symbol. Because I am all about the celebrations.

I am always struck by the comments about how antsy people get waiting for their partners to offer an expected proposal. If it causes you anxiety, ask first! Ask mutually! Ask to be asked! For me, happiness>romantical moments.

Better to Eat You With

@Jade I don't know a single married woman who doesn't wear them together. You buy them to go together, i.e. will this band work with my engagement ring? Often they come in sets, where the engagement ring can be worn for a time alone, then they fit together once the wedding has taken place. (Though all the sets I've ever seen have been hideous/gaudy.)

PistolPackinMama

@redheaded&crazie I am not a particularly romantic person (see: recent HFC discussion about Romance. Or did I have that somewhere else?).

But I would chalk that less up to being a feminist.

And more up to, say, being an awful lot like Kate from The Taming of the Shrew. Rough around the edges and not particularly trusting of Bald Sentiment.

Whatever makes it the right experience for you is the right way to do it.

Well, that and the additional obligatory use of a jumbotron at a home game of your local professional sports team. Of course.

thebestjasmine

@Better to Eat You With I know lots of married women who don't wear them together, but that's almost always after they have kids, and they don't want to scratch the kids with the jewel, or risk losing it when taking it off a lot of times a day to change diapers/wash the baby/wash clothes etc.

blueblazes

@The Lady of Shalott In my case it had become pretty obvious that we were going to get married. I had an ACTUAL wonderful boyfriend with no skeletons in his closet. Anyway, I made it very clear that I don't like diamonds or stones in general really. And the whole two rings thing (one engagement, one marriage) was not for me either.

So he asked for examples of things I like, and I picked some really affordable options. Nothing over $500. And, in the end, I found something simple that I really liked and sent him the link. I suppose it isn't all that romantic, but the fact is that I love the ring and the meaning of it is very personal to me.

Part of the meaning of the ring is this: My husband respects who I am and knows that I am not his property. Just as I am not interested in him ordering for me at restaurants, I'm also not interested in him choosing the hardware I wear for life.

And reading this back to myself I sound a little cold and demanding. But really it was more like we are good communicators so there aren't a lot of surprises in our relationship! :)

PatatasBravas

@blueblazes You do not seem cold and demanding! You sound awesome.

thornbek

@The Lady of Shalott My boyfriend and I are both very lucky in this regard. I inherited a diamond ring from my great-grandmother, but the setting is... lacking. BIG honking diamond in there, though. I've made it perfectly clear to him that if we ever get married (which will probably be as I'm coming out of a bathroom at Target or something similarly romantic), I want to use that stone in a new setting. Once we hit 4 years together, we sort of dropped the "hedging around" bit. If we get married, it will solely be for health insurance/medical power of attorney/inheritance rights/possible tax benefits. My dad proposed to my mom over the phone (still married, 34 years and counting), so I'm not remotely romantic. We both want vuvuzelas at the wedding.

wee_ramekin

@thebestjasmine Yeah, as far back as I can remember, my mother never wore her engagement ring. She was always gardening/baking/painting/other stuff-ing with us lil' uns, and I think it became a convenience thing for her not to wear her engagement ring.

MissCellaneous

@The Lady of Shalott I think for most people it's the proposal that's the surprise, not the marriage part. Most of the recently married/engaged couples I know had been planning their lives together and talking about marriage for a while, but the how and when of "official" proposal was a surprise though the ladies knew it would be coming soon. I think it's a nice way to throw a bit of traditional romance into the proceedings, if you're into that sort of thing (which I admittedly am, despite my feminist ways.)

I'm also a big fan of the Best Friend/Sister/Mom being informed of your ring preferences to gently guide a guy with bad jewelry tastes.

shantasybaby

@ms. alex My engagment might have been more boring, we didn't even take a drive! We were just talking about taking a trip to Europe but then realized we were too broke and that maybe we should get married, maybe get some dough from that, and go as our honeymoon. So there was no "proprosal" just a discussion, which I thought was actually very adult! And then I picked out 2 (cheap, pretty) rings on etsy, he chose one and when I got home from work the day it came in he answered the door on his knee and that was that.

Xanthophyllippa

@blahstudent This is what my friend and her partner did! They were sitting around one day watching TV and he was all, "...wanna get married?" and she was all, "...yeah, okay." They figure that was the hard part; they'll have the civil ceremony whenever they get around to it.

@H.E. Ladypants @Onymous Or! Or! Do a version of this tradition I saw in China, where people get their names engraved on locks, which they then lock to a chain somewhere scenic to show their love forever. Then lock it to a railing in your house or on your deck or porch or something.

Of course, that depends on you having something to lock it to, I guess. Huh.

slutberry

@Jade Yes, my boyfriend and I have TOTALLY DIFFERENT taste. We found an engagement ring 2 months after we got engaged, because he would be all, "Look, this has ALL THE DIAMONDS AND SHINY METAL" and I would be all, "BUT LOOK THIS HAS SILVER AND ALSO GARNET AND THE QUARTZ LOOKS ALMOST LIKE DIAMOND. RIGHT?"

We ended up getting a yellow gold band with ten little diamonds set into it. It is simple and sparkly, so satisfies us both.

Onymous

@Xanthophyllippa That's pretty cool although yeah, I don't know where I/we would lock it.

Also I would feel obligated to do way too much research into padlocks because my love isn't going to be symbolized by some bargin basement lock with huge manufacturing tolerances.

... and now I'm off to do way too much research into padlocks

imsteph

@The Lady of Shalott I got engaged this weekend! I knew it was coming soon, but he planned the proposal very well and I was surprised it happened when it did. (Pro-tip: if your girlfriend knows you're all set to propose, there's nothing to throw her off the scent like a trip to the car wash thirty minutes before the event.) I was pretty insistent on picking the ring, and I would have been downright angry if he'd surprised me with a proposal before I'd let him know loud and clear that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. We'd also booked the wedding venue already, and we bought a condo together months ago. And with all that, it was still wonderful and romantic and somehow even a little surprising.

blueblazes

@The Lady of Shalott WHICH REMINDS ME... he tried to propose to me during a riding lesson we were taking together. I think he thought it would be super romantic because I love horses or something. BUT, an indoor arena under horrible florescent lights with an instructor I barely know and don't really like who is RIGHT THERE and someone is playing country music and I'm wearing lycra breeches and a hoodie and a helmet and my dumb horse is spooking every time we go past the viewing window and it's NOT ROMANTIC... I saw what my man was up to and said, "No, don't do that here."

The attempted proposal is a better story than the real one, eh?

packedsuitcase

@The Lady of Shalott My boyfriend has been collecting information on rings from me (in an adorably un-subtle way), but has made it clear that when the time comes it's really really really important to him that I not be involved. Luckily he is open to asking my friends for their input and I might have kinda sorta met some of my close friends through a jewelry forum. So I have faith in the combination of their powers. It's still going to drive me mad not being able to be involved. I help so many guys get engagement rings! I love engagement rings! I love diamonds! And still I don't get to be involved.

fondue with cheddar

@The Lady of Shalott My ex proposed with a family heirloom ring with the full intention that we'd shop for a new setting together (the original ring was as plain as can be), so it worked out pretty well. The marriage, however, did not.

D.@twitter

@The Lady of Shalott My boyfriend and I picked out our (my) ring together...but now that I'm sure I have exactly what I want, and its purchase has been secured, he's going to spring the actual proposal on me. To me, that's the best of both worlds, b/c I'm v. particular, but also a sappy romantic at heart (despite a curmudgeonly exterior).

jennfizz

@The Lady of Shalott: This is precisely what pinterest is for. At least that's what my husband now says. He pulled a ring directly from my STYLE board.

DrFeelGood

@Better to Eat You With I have seen my mom wear her engagement ring exactly 4 times.... Once at my sister's wedding, at my wedding, and on 2 other occasions. She lost her original wedding band and my dad bought her a "replacement" that does not match the engagement ring a few years ago. Growing up, I never knew people wore these things since neither my parents or my grandparents wore theirs. I love my band and engagement ring, but they are quite fancy and honestly not an every day thing. I wear them almost every day right now because I have no other ring, but I am probably going to get a new plain band for my anniversary this year... I've been surprised to find how much people wear them, since I always thought that people didn't wear them that much after like the 1st year of marriage.

New Hoarder

@klaus I didn't have any kind of ring in mind other than "blue" because I am abstract like that. So my now-husband gave me a "decoy" ring. We were pretty serious when we met (during my study-abroad, junior year of college) and after I graduated moved in together (also abroad). We were going on vacation to Italy and I knew we'd get engaged sooner or later, so I wasn't surprised THAT he proposed, but rather WHEN he proposed.

While we were walking on some windy little street in Florence I veered off and went to the bathroom, and that's when he apparently (I found out later) went to a street vendor and bought a cheap (and HUGE!) souvenir ring. Later, while we were standing in a cathedral he took my hand I became annoyed because when I felt the metal I thought it was more stupid Euro coins and then I looked down. He went all pink and whispered, "Well when we talked about it you said you'd say yes and-" and then I shut him up with a chaste kiss (because CATHEDRAL).

Later when we got home, we went ring shopping and bought each other engagement rings. I picked something with sapphires because BLUE and he politely declined the LOTR One Ring to Rule Them All (he did consider it, though) and got a titanium band. When it came time to choose our wedding bands we gave up and just re-exchanged our engagement rings because we really liked them, and more importantly, loved our experience of choosing them as engagement rings together.

There's no wrong way! Ring or no ring.

New Hoarder

@Better to Eat You With My engagement ring became my wedding ring, and I hardly ever wear it. Doesn't change how I feel though. =-D

EpWs

@H.E. Ladypants I may have gotten my boy a [pre] engagement PS3. The joy on his face was the best thing ever.

fondue with cheddar

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I wholeheartedly approve of changing the tradition from engagement rings to engagement electronic gaming devices.

MrsLlama

@blahstudent This...is exactly what happened to me. Except he did give me an engagement right, which was a family heirloom so it was a little more low-key than like Ye Olde Picking Out A Diamond. But yeah. Low key Sunday hanging in Bryant Park proposal, picked out nice rings at a little shop in Brooklyn, married at city hall like 3 months later, followed by crazy rager.

I highly recommend it everyone. I approve of your life plan!

catsuperhero

@The Lady of Shalott Late, late reply. But:

About four months into our relationship, the husband and I were at Tiffany & Co in NYC. I was there to look at the silver, but to get there, you go past all the diamonds and engagement stuff and all. Four months in, it was a little awkward, but we already knew we were headed that way, so when I saw a three-stone sapphire and diamond ring, I was like, "THAT'S IT. IN A FEW YEARS, FOR ME." Well, he did the research, and found out that even though that ring started at what he considered a reasonable cost, the stones he wanted vaulted the price into, you know, Tiffany world.

He kept the idea, though. Talked with a local jeweler...and when we got engaged, I was given my three-stone ring, in platinum...with the highest, most ornate setting he could find. I appreciated the stones (perfect), but it looked like I was wearing a tiny cathedral. I was an idiot who didn't realize platinum would make a ring heavy, and with the setting I had, my hand was really weighed down. I remember going to a concert, applauding the hell out of the singer, and the next morning realizing my ring finger was bruised from my high setting knocking up against my knuckle. Ouch.

I'll say that he also spent waaaay more on it than I thought appropriate. He had told me he was going to do so, and that he wanted to be extravagant, but I was NOT comfortable wearing thousands of dollars on my hand on a regular basis. I tried, but it just didn't work.

A few months ago, we finally agreed that we should redesign the whole ring to something I was more comfortable with. I kept two of the stones, replaced the already-chipped sapphire with a London blue topaz (that's cheaper and easier to replace if necessary), and went with a much lower setting, simpler band, and white gold.

Moral: Don't be afraid to change it should you need to. I wear my ring all the time now, the husband is very happy that I do, and we only regret that he initially spent so much money on the first one. I was worried about "what people would think" when it wasn't my original ring, and guess what, no one cares. It's not the ring in the wedding pictures. So what.

Woman Laughing Alone With Boas

"Dudes are usually going to take any sort of physical proximity like sharing a bed as some sort of invitation or consent."

Dudes who think this: Not consent. This is the wrong assumption to make.

boxlady

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas

Ugh, agreed!

Also, can we talk about how shaming LW#2 (who, let's be real, isn't exactly behaving honorably) is a bit harsh? I mean, she isn't the older dude who lies to his wife about cuddling. She's also harming her friend's wife, but not nearly as badly as he is. The married friend in this scenario sounds like a Bob in training.

Woman Laughing Alone With Boas

@boxlady Oh, boy, yes, thank you! Let's DEFINITELY talk about why it is not cool to shame her!

While it is fair to expect LW2 to take responsibility for her actions (which, if she ends this friendship or apologizes for her inappropriate behavior and commits to not repeating it, takes care of that), let us remember that Married Man had plenty of responsibilities and choices to make, as well. A list of moments where MM could have chosen to behave differently:

1. One Friday he came over and stayed later than usual.
2. He missed the last bus home and I invited him to spend the night on the floor of my room.
3. He called his wife, and explained to her that he was stuck, but he said he was at his guy friend's house.
4. Instead of sleeping that night, we talked for eight hours.
5. About four hours in, we both ended up in bed together (in what I felt was a platonic fashion). We did cuddle, but nothing crazy happened.

That's a whole lotta personal responsibility he should also be taking!

OsGirl

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas

Eh, I don't know. She's the one who wrote in for advice, so it makes sense to focus on her. It's probably not worth it to argue over which one of them is the bigger jerk.

itmakesmewonder

@OsGirl Right. Let's all say it together for the hundredth time: The person who wrote in is who we're talking to, not the unseen person we'll never hear from.

Woman Laughing Alone With Boas

@itmakesmewonder @OsGirl I agree that the advice should be directed at the LW, but when a person is seeking advice about something they feel bad about, which required the cooperation of another consenting adult, I also believe that is pretty inappropriate for the advice-giver to shame her with names like "Cock-tease" and "Homewrecker." Once that line is crossed, I think it is also helpful to point out for the sake of the LW and any impressionable folks who may be reading along that she does not deserve name-calling, and that she is not solely to blame for what happened.

People make mistakes, and certainly LW2 did. But it may also make it easier for her to do the right thing in the future if she is not saddled with a disproportionate share of the guilt.

meetapossum

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas Unfortunately, this: "He's never slept over again, but I think he would if the opportunity came up, and I don't think I'd mind" makes me think she doesn't actually feel that bad about it but rather knows she SHOULD feel bad about it.

itmakesmewonder

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas Oh no I totally agree that the words Dude used are terrible. I can't imagine calling anyone a homewrecker with a straight face let alone a goddamn COCKTEASE. Expand your mind, Married Dude.

billie_crusoe

@boxlady But we all know it's the woman who's the homewrecker, amiright? Neither party gets a free pass, but...

Also, as someone who is legit pretty damn clueless about my interactions with the opposite sex, I can kind of understand? I probably could have been called a cock-tease in my younger days, down to the cuddling-with-a-man-I'm-not-sexually-attracted-to (and then being shocked when he propositioned me) (except that my friends, even the ones I unknowingly flirted with, are way too classy to call anyone a cock-tease. Ugh.). I definitely know when I'm flirting with girls (who are 95% of who I'm attracted to), but sometimes I flirt with guys without realizing it? I don't even knowwww. I'm usually pretty good at picking up on nonverbal signals, but this is like a blind spot for me, maybe because I don't generally see men as people I would possibly have sex with.

ETA: I was writing this while you guys were also writing about the name-calling, sorry for repeating :)

Snicker-snack!

@meetapossum This. This is why I don't really take exception to the shaming the Married Dude dispensed. She should be ashamed. If that guy was my husband - and come to think of it, he kind of was - I'd have much worse things to call her.

smidge

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas Also, I totally agree that cuddling IS NOT equal to consent, but, the married dude might think it is. Some people are good at understanding consent; some people think "any amount of physical contact" = "give me lots of intimate physical contact."

PistolPackinMama

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas YES THANK YOU YES EXACTLY I AM GLAD YOU POINTED THIS OUT WHAT?

Megoon

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas Yeah I have an "uuuggghhhh" memory about this exact situation. One time in college I let a dude stay in my bed because he was too drunk to get home, super naively thinking that it was totes no big deal! Surprise surprise, I had to push him away like twelve times (why I did not push him out the door, I still don't know). The next morning he thankfully apologized for being an asshole but that was the end of the friendship... and of sharing my bed "platonically" with dudes.

Maybe this girl is in college? I should probably cut her some slack, knowing I was almost as big of an idiot. But girl: you are an idiot.

themmases

@Megoon Yep. I assumed someone who gave up on her bachelor's to do something new was probably in the 19-23 age range? I was exactly this stupid in college.

wharrgarbl

@smidge There's a much shorter name for people who aren't good at "understanding consent." I mean, seriously, are we really advising people that physical contact is going to be perceived by rapists as a green light? 'Cuz the whole crux of people ignoring other people's non-consent is that they don't care what they're being told.

Hiroine Protagonist

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas Corrected: Rapey guys with no actual conception of the autonomy of others will take this as an invitation. HOLY JEEBUS NONONONONONO.

PistolPackinMama

@Snicker-snack! Yeah, you know, you can do your best to alert a person to the shameful quality of their behavior without doing shameful things yourself.

Times when it is okay to call someone a cocktease: When you mutually consent to it, for whatever reason, in an appropriate context.

This is not one of those times.

I can think of lots of ways to tell this person she's doing some really, really uncool/selfish/naive/inappropriate things without using misogynist terms.

"Hey, LW. You are doing something really uncool, selfish, naive, and inappropriate in this situation. You should cut it the heck out before something really unfortunate happens. As opposed to shady-unfortunate, which is what is happening now."

Like that.

PatatasBravas

@PistolPackinMama BE AN ASK A LADY. I would happily submit all of my questions for your consideration.

winslow

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas I've gotta say (since nobody else seems to be), I don't think that when A Married Dude said "consent", he actually meant consent-with-a-capital-rape-apology. I know that's a big heavy feminist word for most of us, but not everyone uses it that way or is even aware that it has all this meaning attached to it, and I strongly suspect AMD is one of the clueless.

PatatasBravas

@winslow Okay, great! Now he knows better. I'm glad that the Pintariat has addressed this, and I think it's a good opportunity for this AaMD to learn that his word choice was problematic, and why.

LEARNING: I endorse it.

Xanthophyllippa

@boxlady I'd never use those particular terms, but I kind of got the sense from LW2's attitude and questions that not much else was going to get through to her. It read to me like A Dude was aiming for "reading the Riot Act" and instead landed on "shaaaame! shaaaaame!"

But also, "cocktease," ugh. Way to suggest that women's behavior entitles men to collect on something and they're cheated if they don't get it.

PistolPackinMama

@PatatasBravas :)

fondue with cheddar

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas When I was in college, a friend invited me to spend the night in bed with him, naked and cuddling, and I assumed he wanted more. I reached over and gave him a handjob, and his reaction led me to believe that he really did just want to cuddle. We never talked about it afterward. It was all very confusing.

wharrgarbl

@jen325 I read stuff like this and become very depressed, because it's like the whole point of sex-ed in this country is to reinforce the mindless scripts that keep us from doing the reasonable thing of asking first, and talking about it, and accepting the answers we get. I mean, seriously--how many other areas of life do we set up so that the most inexperienced people have the added handicap of having been taught wrong on purpose?

fondue with cheddar

@wharrgarbl I was actually sexually experienced at the time, so I knew how it worked (physically and socially) and made the completely reasonable assumption that sex was what he was looking for. At that young age, nobody was ever straightforward about what they wanted so you had to figure it out based on their signals. Ugh, I don't miss being that age AT ALL.

You're right, sex ed talks about the mechanics of sex, reproductive organs and their functions, and diseases (which are very important) but unfortunately it does not talk about the social aspects of sex, dating, and relationships (with the exception of rape and related issues).

wharrgarbl

@jen325 A lot of sex-ed does talk about the social aspects of sex, but it's very "boys always want it and girls don't/shouldn't and these are Always True." Which it's not, and it shames everyone out of asking and negotiating what they want at the very last stage where that should be happening because most people aren't completely sure what they want or like yet.

fondue with cheddar

@wharrgarbl Ugh, that's horrible. Fortunately the area where I live is fairly liberal, so they didn't do that where I went to school. In fact, they even went so far as to say that boys can be raped, too. It's a good thing they did, because judging by my classmates' reactions it was something most of them had never considered (this was in middle school).

FickleMoon

@jen325 Last time I cuddled in bed with someone, he suggested 'Let's just cuddle but first let's take off all our clothes."
I think we all know where naked cuddling leads.

fondue with cheddar

@FickleMoon That's what I thought! I don't know what was up with this guy. I really liked him and I felt like he was into me also, but I got the impression that my handjob crossed a line and ruined my chance at something more. A tiny part of me wants to look him up on Facebook and ask him WTF that was all about.

antilamentation

@Snicker-snack! Me too. I'd call her much worse names too, plus the husband would then be called the ex-husband. Yes, it takes 2 to tango, and it takes either a wish to hurt someone else or a lack of sufficient care about hurting someone else. The LW may not actively want to hurt the wife and wreck the marriage. However the LW doesn't seem to be sparing any thought for the wife's feelings either. It's a simple enough thing to ask yourself: "Would I like it if my husband lied to me about sleeping over with another woman and spent all night in her bed cuddling her? If I wouldn't like it, do I want to be responsible for putting another woman through that? Do I want to insert myself into someone else's marriage and make myself intimate with someone else's husband that way?"

I don't think that's rocket science.

ETA: Plus when it comes to the idea of who is a "homewrecker", I'd include the lying, cheating guy who is talking to LW1 about marriage, while simultaneously trying to seduce an ENGAGED woman. He is also being a tease with the ENGAGED woman. I think this is equal opportunity bad behaviour, unfortunately.

stonefruit

@FickleMoon to mixed dancing, of course.

solaria

@antilamentation @snicker-snack

Okay, I know this is a year old, but WOW.

Yeah, some random girl who doesn't know you is "the" homewrecker, not the man who committed to building a home with you and then proceeded to not adequately respect the rules of that home/care for it. I mean, clearly she has more responsibility to your home. How could he help himself? His penis just got so tingly.

mayonegg

I always enjoy hearing about proposals that aren't super contrived and on YouTube/a jumbotron, so thank you.

LornaLoo

@mayonegg I saw a jumbotron proposal at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on New Years Eve that was sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings. She had to figure out wheel-of-fortune style word clues that were different B-Dubs sauce flavors, and then the final one was Will You Marry Me. It was intolerable

mayonegg

@LornaLoo I think I've had a series of nightmares like that.

meetapossum

@mayonegg I really hate those YouTube proposal videos with that stupid song. UGH.

WhiskeySour

@LornaLoo Nooo! Why Buffalo Wild Wings?! Why the game?! Why at Joe Louis? I have to hope that maybe they met at BWW and bonded over Wheel of Fortune and hockey? But still, that sounds like torture, definitely for the captive audience and possibly for the lady involved?

LornaLoo

@WhiskeySour I mean, I am a huge Red Wings fan, so it would have been cool if my boyfriend proposed there but NOT ON A JUMBO TRON SPONSORED BY BW3.
She looked super shocked and not all that excited, either. Awkward to say the least!

LornaLoo

@LornaLoo Also, my boyfriend and both wondered aloud if it meant that BW3 would also cater the reception.

OsGirl

@mayonegg Jumbotron proposals are gross, but your username is awesome

raised amongst catalogs

@LornaLoo Off-topic, but I just love being reminded that there are other Michigan 'Pinners. I raise my glass of Vernors to you!

WhiskeySour

@LornaLoo Only if they want to be known as "the wedding where everyone got diarrhea." Sorry, I've never had a good BWW dining experience.

LornaLoo

@vanillawaif I wish I had a vernors right now. Apparently they sell it in Chicago, but I never think to buy it when I don't have a stomachache or some Crown Roya.

charlesbois

@vanillawaif I'll see your Vernors and raise you a Faygo (rock n rye for me)

The Lady of Shalott

@LornaLoo I've only ever seen Vernors here in Chicagoland in cans, which is infinitely inferior to having it in bottles.

VERNORS TIP: Make slush! Put your Vernors bottle in the freezer for several hours. Take it out, uncap it, and watch exciting freezing action! Then enjoy your ginger-ale slushie which is icy cold and refreshing, and not watered down! (Vernors non-tip: my dad heats it and drinks it hot in the winter. Grossss.) VERNORS TIP: Make "Boston coolers," which are Vernors floats with vanilla ice cream!

Or just drink Faygo redpop! (Or rock'n rye.)

raised amongst catalogs

@The Lady of Shalott BOSTON COOLER! The best!!! So creamy and so spicy at the same time.

LornaLoo

@WhiskeySour you made me laugh out loud. The office is wondering what is wrong with me, especially since my laughter meant i took a break from making fun of my co-worker for once.

Lady of Shallot, I disagree, only because I prefer cans or fountain to plastic bottles in almost all soft drink cases. But, ROCKn'RYE FOR THE WIN!!!!

raised amongst catalogs

@charlesbois The only Faygo flavor worth having, in my opinion. (Sorry, while I <3 U, cream soda and red pop, you are just not it.)

raised amongst catalogs

@LornaLoo If it makes you feel any better, I didn't really have a Vernors in my hand.

cosmia

@LornaLoo This is literally the worst thing I have ever heard.

whizz_dumb

@LornaLoo It'd be so hilarious if she just shook her head "no" emphatically and she had a really appalled look on her face and his devastation was obvious to everyone in the stadium. Ho boy I would laugh and laaaugh and laaaaaaugh.

LornaLoo

@whizz_dumb That really was sort of close to how it went down. She said yes but we could all tell she wasn't pleased. Perhaps we were projecting, though.

EpWs

@The Lady of Shalott HEATS IT AND DRINKS IT HOT???

@Jumbotron BDubs Proposal: NO. SHUT IT DOWN.

The Lady of Shalott

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Yes. Have you ever had hot pop? Don't, it's awful.

Better to Eat You With

@The Lady of Shalott I'm in Indianapolis, and we've got Vernor's in cans, bottles, and 2-Liters. Mmmmmm, Vernor's.

whizz_dumb

@The Lady of Shalott haha Hot pop. Sounds awesome, tastes shitty. (I still call it "pop" and say it emphatically at my Californian friends and they think it's funny. I will never call it soda. Never.)

EpWs

@The Lady of Shalott Aughhhhhhhgross.

raised amongst catalogs

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I have to say, I've done it and it is soothing, but only when you're very sick. That's not something I'd drink when healthy.

Xanthophyllippa

@The Lady of Shalott I need to catch the next bus to Chicago and load up, then, since my dad (grew up in Detroit) loves him some Vernor's and can't find it in the Northeast. Also, I LOVE Redpop.

@whizz_dumb I think I've seen videos of people proposing at pro sporting events via Jumbotron and the woman being all, "Uh, no." I think in one case, the mascot even got involved and starting miming heart-wrenching, soul-crushing disappointment at the guy.

Lily Rowan

Aw!

Although I have internal conflict (AGAIN) between the romance of the surprise proposal and the realistic practicality of two adults deciding together to get married.

hallelujah

@Lily Rowan Yup! I may be a grump, but I got a little indignant at "I didn't bother to ask if she wanted to get married LET ALONE the ring" part.

SarahP

@Lily Rowan You can have both! We had 3+ very big serious discussions about how we felt about marriage, about the ranges of time in which we hoped/planned to be married, and about what kind of weddings we liked (and at what price) throughout our relationship pre-marriage, but my husband still surprised me with his proposal.

bluebears

@Lily Rowan My husband proposed and then took my to a pre-arranged jeweler appointment to pick out a ring. I didn't get it right away but frankly I preferred to pick it out. And he knew that.

bluebears

@Lily Rowan My husband proposed and then took my to a pre-arranged jeweler appointment to pick out a ring. I didn't get it right away but frankly I preferred to pick it out. And he knew that.

queenofbithynia

@hallelujah Didn't bother to ask? He proposed!

hallelujah

@queenofbithynia Well yes. I meant pre-proposal. It just seems not cool to me for one half of the partnership to put that kind of pressure on the other. Granted, this is rather personal to me right now, because I am pregnant & constantly having to warn my partner not to even think about proposing.

OsGirl

@Lily Rowan We did both as well! We talked about getting married and went to go look at rings together. We went the custom route so I didn't know when I was actually going to get it. The actual proposal was a surprise - and it was lovely.

queenofbithynia

@hallelujah It's not that I don't think mutual consensus is the best way to make major couple decisions (I do!) but once you have a long talk and come to the shared agreement that you're going to get married (in a particular timeframe, not just someday) you are engaged, and recreating it later with a staged, fake proposal later really bothers me, for obscure personal reasons of my own.

and here they are: I am super opposed to reinforcing the paradigm that a man actively asks -- for dates, for sex, for her hand in marriage, for everything -- and the lady accepts or declines. But that's why a proposal has to be real: a dude can't grab all the fun parts of chivalry for himself (the active role, the power display, the appearance of public decision-making, the sympathy of anyone watching) and decline to touch any of the risk that balances that: the knowledge that she can say no because this is a real life event and not a pre-written play, and if you want to be the fancy hero of your little betrothal playlet, you have to do something actually scary.

so basically the enforced normative man-on-woman proposal is a gross ritual anyway, but faking it is actually grosser than doing it for real. so it seems to me and my hang-ups.

Lily Rowan

@queenofbithynia I'm generally with you, actually.

melis

@queenofbithynia How odd, I seem to have RUN OUT OF LIKE BUTTONS

TheJacqueline

@queenofbithynia I'm with you too. I actually think engagement rings (look! a symbol of ownership!) and traditional wedding ceremonies (look! she is literally being given by one man to another man!) are gross too, so. I was kind of horrified when I read that he didn't even know if she wanted to get married.

Jen Alien-Spouse@twitter

@queenofbithynia

You would have loved how I got engaged. One Sunday I was in the shower thinking about how spending my life with my boyfriend would be so much easier if we were married (because I'm British and he's American, so there are visas involved any way you slice it), I got out of the shower with this whole fantastic speech in my head, walked into the bedroom with sopping wet hair and a towel wrapped round me and said "I've been thinking that perhaps we should get married" to which boyfriend replied "Yeah, me too."

And that was that.

I wear my Great-Aunt Elf's WWII era engagement ring, so it's a very thin gold band with five diamonds. The stones are probably small by today's standards and the setting is quite old-fashioned but I love it!

lue
lue

@queenofbithynia
I totally see and agree with your points, but that's also sort of how we did it, but with a caveat...my then-boyfriend and I had had lots of conversations about marriage, and it got to a point where we both realized that I was ready to get married, and that he wanted to someday, but wasn't quite ready to be engaged. So he proposed eventually, as sort of a fun way to tell me he was ready, too. We picked out rings together.

queenofbithynia

the other thing I have to say is that nine times out of ten when I say that something is intrinsically patriarchal and oppressive, what I mean is I want to be the one who gets to do it. so, if I ever get married I will be the one who proposes (because I did absorb some of the social indoctrination that says a proposal is more romantic than a rational and equal discussion. just, if someone has to have the starring role in the proposal drama it is going to be me.)

likewise, every time a guy complains about oh jeez the pressure of being the one who has to buy the ring and pop the question and plan the dates and buy the presents on Valentine's Day and blah blah, I want to stab him. Because doing that stuff is FUN. It makes you feel powerful and adventuresome and generous and benevolent. Making those gestures is so much more fun than sitting around being grateful for them, that is why women are constantly discouraged from doing that stuff.

madge

@queenofbithynia i proposed to my man! in a really romantic way! and it WAS fun and he said yes! i recommend it!

catfoodandhairnets

@Jen Alien-Spouse@twitter This is much how it happened for me. Visa weddings. Taking the romance out of romance.

LornaLoo

That engagement is adorable. Am I sick for transposing my own favorite places into the story as well as my boyfriend and swapping out the champagne with extremely expensive and rare beer? Cuz I totally just did.

Porn Peddler

@LornaLoo If my man did that...wow, a thousand times yes, now let's drink all of this beer.

EpWs

@LornaLoo As long as it's GOOD extremely expensive and rare beer. But yes, infinitely prefer beer (or cocktails) to wine or champagne. Wine/champagne drunk Wordsnatcher is sleepy. Beer or cocktail drunk Wordsnatcher is PARTY. Which one do you want if you've just become engaged? Duh. BEER FOR EVERYONE.

i make lists

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Yes yes yes! Although, to be honest...I would probably drink anything alcoholic put in front of me. Also, I would like to endorse this beer!

EpWs

@i make lists Ooohhhh, I'm intrigued. I would like to endorse my local brewery's new double IPA, which is 11%apv of Goes Down As Easy As Water But Tastes So Much Better. It is amazing. Any of y'all who want to come to Kentucky, I will buy you a glass.

bluebears

Ooof that first letter. Listen it sucks when it feels like everything is working BUT (some big issue). Bottom line: If you don't trust him it wont work. And it sounds like he's given you more than ample reason to not trust him.

frigwiggin

This isn't really the right place to put this (what else is new, friggy?), but #1 reminded me of the embarrassing Eureka dream I had last night where I contemplated kissing Fargo and then woke up and felt bad for being willing to betray my boyfriend for Neil Grayston. Even though I totally woke up before it happened.

I used to laugh at one of my college roommates for having TV-themed dreams all the time, but now I have one at least every month or so. THE TABLES HAVE TURNED, FRIGWIGGIN.

TheBourneApproximation

@frigwiggin Not TV, but I once had a dream about cheating on my husband by making out with John Darnielle from the Mountain Goats, and then feeling really really guilty about it afterwards.

My dreams suck.

WhiskeySour

@frigwiggin Yeah, cheat-y dreams are the worst. Because I wake up and feel all bad about it, but it's not like I had any control over it. And I feel guilty and want to apologize to my husband about it, but that's even weirder than just having cheaty sexing dreams and maybe it's better to just keep that sort of thing to myself.

wee_ramekin

@frigwiggin I've only had two relationships, but each time, as soon as we had settled into officially being a monogamous couple, I started having really graphic, really vivid sex dreams where I was having sex with ALL THE PEOPLE, and super enjoying it. And then stopping just before orgasm and remembering "Oh shit! I'm in a relationship now, I can't do this!".

The only way I can think of to explain this is that my Venus is in Sagittarius.

frigwiggin

@WhiskeySour I don't feel SO bad when it's a TV character or celebrity or someone else completely unattainable--and my boyfriend tends to find them HI-larious anyway--but occasionally it's someone random, like one of my high school teachers who had awesome biceps, or a friend-of-a-friend who I've spoken to once or twice, and then I'm just like WHATTTT ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME, BRAIN.

Of course, I also have character/celebrity dreams--and these are honestly more embarrassing than the sexy ones--where we're just friends and hanging out, like the one where I went to the park with Joey Comeau. I'm always so contented and happy in the dream to be hanging out with cool people, but then I wake up and feel like a dork because my brain wants me to have more friends.

@wee_ramekin My sexy dreams have definitely gone up since my boyfriend and I have been together--it's only sometimes that he actually exists in the dreams, though, so it's only sometimes that I feel dream-ashamed of myself. But I was kissing Fargo for the greater good! (Plus he is adorable, I will admit it.)

boysplz

@frigwiggin I have a lot of those friends with celebrity dreams and they are kind of awkward. I do still have fond memories of the dream where I watched Drag Race with Richard Lawson and helped him recap it, those were good times.

Cat Jail

@frigwiggin Okay, I have a weird question related to this that I'd like to throw out there. Say you're having a dream, and things are getting sexy, but in the dream, you're in a relationship, and get guilty about it, and stop. But then, all of a sudden, you start lucid dreaming, and you know it's a dream, and you have the choice of where it goes from there. Do you stop, because now you have agency and are making a choice, or do you keep going, because it's not real, and it's hot? Because this may have happened to a friend...

frigwiggin

@Cat Jail That's a very good question. I don't know what I'd do! I've never lucid dreamt before, but my instinct right now is that I would probably keep going, because if it's a dream why not get yo' rocks off? To me that's not a whole lot different than fantasizing during sex or masturbation anyway, and I really don't feel like I'm betraying anyone in those scenarios. It can get complicated, though, which is why I felt vaguely guilty when I woke up this morning, because in the dream it felt real and I was rationalizing the circumstances to myself IN the dream, so it felt more like something of which I SHOULD be guilty. But in the end, whatever, it's a dream!

Brunhilde

@Cat Jail I'm a frequent lucid dreamer and I *always* keep going. It's not real, it's just a dream, and I know it, so I don't feel guilty. I'm also mad crushing on a friend right now, which I do feel guilty about, because I have a boyfriend, but if other friend pops up in a dream...

wee_ramekin

@Cat Jail I would definitely keep going. The guilt-making part for me in the dream comes because I don't know that I'm dreaming; once I have woken up enough to realize that I was dreaming, I almost always rue the "wasted opportunity", so to speak.

leonstj

@Cat Jail - I love this question. I lucid dream kind of a lot, basically at will. Sometimes WHILST NAPPING I end up having this ethical debate. And then I end up arguing with myself (UM ACTUALLY, I like to always imagine the Chesire Cat (halfway between disney and tenniel) and Sam The Eagle representing opposite sides of the argument).

Being the loser that I am, Chesire Cat & Muppet arguing over Kantianism vs more deontological ethical systems is EQUALLY AS APPEALING as dream-fucking someone I should not be fucking.

Xanthophyllippa

@boysplz I misread that as "Richard Dawson." Different dream entirely.

expattycake

@Cat Jail I get those and they are the most frustrating sex dreams ever! It pretty much always puts a stop to my dreaming sexytime even if I try to keep it going. It's like a giant cold wet dream blanket.

ThatWench

@Cat Jail I'll take up the rallying cry for the "don't feel guilty about it at all!" camp. I'm in the "monogomy is really hard (for many of us)" school of thought, and also the "more (respectful) lusting for everyone!". I think that sexy dreams/daydreams/office crushes/etc are an important part of continuing to feel like a complete person capable of autonomous thinkings/lustings, which is good for my relationship in the long run. I'll actually savor a particularly good mackin' on another dude dream for a good while after waking. It's just a good way to wake up/wake the partner up with my snake charming skills.

Of course, I will also confess that most of my sexy-type dreams are less about rounding third base and more about smooches? It's the feeling of "we just discovered our mutual admiration/lusty feelings and it's so exciting!" that I'm apparently craving...

OaklandBooty

LW 1: To quote Dan Savage, DTMFA.

heyhaley

@OaklandBooty Seriously. DUUUUUUUUMP HIIIIIIIMMMM. He was INSTIGATING something with Engaged Lady when you caught it. You can flirt a little bit (not that you should) with someone without calling out what's happening and trying to instigate something. HE WAS INSTIGATING. Dump him dump him DUMP HIM!

OaklandBooty

@heyhaley I can't even...INSTIGATING! He already did it once! THERE IS A PATTERN HERE, AND IT IS CALLED I AM A NARCISSIST AND ONLY CARE ABOUT MYSELF! Okay, I'll stop yelling now. (NEVER!)

heyhaley

@OaklandBooty NEVER STOP YELLING 'TIL SHE DUMPS TMFA!!!!!! NEVERRRR

OaklandBooty

@heyhaley MY ARMS ARE IN THE AIR RIGHT NOW, FLAILING WILDLY! DUMP HIM! PLEASE! IT WILL HURT BUT (to also quote Dan Savage, who basically is like the best sex advice columnist ever) IT GETS BETTER!

antilamentation

@OaklandBooty Yes. This. LW1 says they're excited about marriage? It looks to me like he is indeed excited about marriage - if by "excited" we mean sexually excited and by "marriage" we mean getting down with an ENGAGED woman WHO IS NOT LW1 WTF?! I think his actions show this guy has no respect for marriage, and I don't think that bodes well for anyone talking about getting married to him.

rockproblems

"Do you really feel like Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson were having a platonic relationship in Lost In Translation?"

Kind of! That's what always made it such an interesting movie to me? Look, let's just not bring Bob and Charlotte into this, okay? They have their own problems.

carogriffin

@rockproblems This was my exact response! "Platonic or maybe father-daughter at most." Just because you hang out with someone of the opposite sex and you kiss once when you're about to probably never see each other again does not mean you want to be banging them! Even if that other person is Bill Murray!

Susanna

LW1: your wonderful boyfriend is a coward.

He's not prepared to be faithful. He's not prepared to man up and give up a very good thing (you).

He's just going to vacillate until you are so sick of him that you dump him.

Steph

I got engaged last Monday! On a hill overlooking the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. He took me up there just before dusk and had a secret photographer come to document the whole thing and take engagement photos. My dude bought my ring on Etsy. I said no diamonds so I ended up with a super sparkly aquamarine. Love!

Now I have to plan a wedding though. Ugh.

Porn Peddler

@Steph CONGRATS, SKIP THE WEDDING. Seriously wedding planning sounds worse every time I hear about it.

noodge

@Steph CONGRATULATIONS! that sounds like a fabulous engagement!
yeah, i second porn peddler's suggestion: keep it as simple as possible, and even then you'll have some people butt-hurt because you didn't do it the way they wanted you to. I'm finally over giving a shit about those people, but it's been a semi-stressful few months to get to this point...

Porn Peddler

@Steph Alternately, hire a wedding planner to be the go-between and say no to butthurt people FOR you.

EpWs

@Steph CONGRATS AND YAY! Do what you want with this whole wedding gig and fuck anyone who says otherwise.

lisma

Is there such a thing as platonic cuddling, particularly when one or more parties involved have significant others?

LW2: Stop it now.

Dorothea

@ginalouise for real! i almost think that cuddling is more romantic than sex.

meetapossum

@ginalouise Um, I'm going to take a risk and say "yes", but I have friends who are absurdly touchy-feely and platonic cuddling does happen. That being said, any significant others know about it and are ok with it, so there's no deception involved, which is the real problem.

lisma

@meetapossum I suppose it all depends on who is comfortable with what. In this case though, it does not seem ok.

dabbyfanny

@ginalouise Also, this was cuddling ON THE BED. After he lied to his wife. Two big red flags that this is crossing over into non-platonic country.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@ginalouise I'm TOLD that there's such a thing as platonic cuddling, but I've never experienced it and never witnessed it, unless we're talking about cuddling with fuzzy mammals.

roadtrips

@werewolfbarmitzvah I've platonic cuddled! But what it really comes down to is whether there is romantic interest or not. All of my platonic cuddle experiences have been with friends as either a necessary comfort (like when you get dumped and don't feel like sleeping alone) or a drunken friend love explosion (like when you fall asleep on your best friend's bed after a party and when you wake up there are like 4 other people in there with you). Rule of thumb - if you're with someone and their partner doesn't know - maybe it's more of a gray area than "platonic".

TheUnchosenOne

@ginalouise I want to say "Yes, of course!" but the only experience I have in the matter is an instance where there was lots of cuddling going on that was DEFINITELY NOT PLATONIC but we both pretended it was, because her boyfriend didn't know what was going on but looking back I am sure he was very suspicious.

Quinn A@twitter

@ginalouise I have done a lot of cuddling that was entirely platonic on my part and not at all platonic on the other person's part. I was very, very naive when I was younger.

I just remembered that I also used to do a lot of genuinely platonic cuddling with a gay male friend. I once drunkenly flashed him and he CRIED, so I'm pretty sure he's not harbouring any secret passion for me.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@TheUnchosenOne THIIIIIIIIIIS is a thing I've seen and experienced a lot of, where the cuddling is ostensibly platonic, both parties claim that it is platonic, but it is NOT AT ALL PLATONIC.

TheUnchosenOne

@werewolfbarmitzvah We both totally knew exactly what we were doing, too, ugh, we were THE WORST.

meetapossum

@werewolfbarmitzvah Ugh. I feel like a lot of these stories are bordering on "men and women cannot be completely platonic friends EVER", which I feel is bullshit. Sorry, if I can have platonic cuddles with women as a heterosexual woman, it's still possible (and has happened!) to have platonic sleepovers with heterosexual men who I'm friends with.

TheUnchosenOne

@meetapossum Personally I'm just not that touchy-feely, which definitely clouds my vision. But then I also usually kissed that same friend on the forehead when saying goodbye (we didn't see each other very often because of distance) and it doesn't get more platonic than that but I can also see how some people would have problems with it. I think they are wrong, but that's a tricky conversation to have.

thebestjasmine

@meetapossum I have slept in the same bed with platonic male friends and there was nothing going on there (on both sides, I'm quite sure). But there was absolutely no cuddling. I have a lot of platonic male friends and absolutely think that men and women can be friends, but I've also never cuddled with my platonic male friends. I don't really think that there's such a thing as platonic cuddling, no.

meetapossum

@thebestjasmine Well, I'll have to respectfully disagree with apparently everybody on that point.

redheaded&crazy

@TheUnchosenOne I consider forehead kisses to be extremely romantic. AM I WEIRD. When somebody I'm with kisses me on the forehead it gives me All. The. Feelings.

JEuthyphro

@ginalouise as a dude, i absolutely have platonic friendships with ladies. sometimes, i sleep in the same bed as them. sometimes, we cuddle. in these cases, neither of us has any interest in the cuddling leading to anything else, but it's still... sort of sexual. it does something for me, but i still don't want to actually hook up with my friend. i.e., in genuine platonic friendships, you can sometimes trust each other not to try to act on mild sexual contact. since LW doesn't have a well-established, trusting friendship with the married dude, she is being a bit of a tease.

TheUnchosenOne

@redheaded&crazie It's something I was very careful about, because I know people feel this way! And the very first time I did it it certainly was romantic, because we were dating at the time. But also my aunt kisses me on the forehead, and so does hers, and it doesn't get more platonic than that? I guess it can be both and that's why I don't make a habit of it. It's tricky! Case-by-case and all that.

teaandcakeordeath

@ginalouise
Cuddling is one of the main things I miss being single. People find sex buddies but can there possibly be cuddle buddies? Please?

redheaded&crazy

@JEuthyphro Or, since the married dude is MARRIED, he is being a bit of a tease.

@teaandcakeordeath: I bet you could find a cuddle buddy! but yeah, that person would probably maybe want sex too? But then again as far as I can tell, if I'm cuddling with somebody I want to cuddle with, I would probably want to have sex with them too.

meetapossum

@redheaded&crazie Or they're both big jerks?

redheaded&crazy

@meetapossum yes! you are right. I actually said that down thread somewhere too. I agree they are both big jerks.

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

@ginalouise I have friends that do the whole platonic cuddling thing, but I don't. I know the whole love languages thing can be kind of cheesy but if my Mr. had one it would be cuddling. So I think it's possible but it happens AFTER you get to know someone long enough to establish what each other regards as platonic. I agree with the previous point that if it was entirely platonic, HE WOULDN'T BE LYING ABOUT IT. All in all, it's possible but it is totes not what's happening here, too many red flags.

teaandcakeordeath

@redheaded&crazie
Ahhh true. Guess I'll go for a regular sex buddy with an extra side of hugs!

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@redheaded&crazie THANK YOU, I am the same way. One of my guy friends kissed me on the forehead when he was leaving a party and I was sitting down, and I was all LET'S DO THIS.

JEuthyphro

@redheaded&crazie the married guy is definitely a "big jerk," but i wouldn't call him a tease; if LW wanted something to happen, i doubt he would hesitate. she should know this, which is the sense in which she is a bit of a tease. she didn't cause him to have the disposition to engage in mild sexual contact outside his marriage, but she ought to have recognized that his interests were impure. "tease" does not equal "horrible slut" or something. it's a pretty mild way for a person to be deficient (especially when stripped of the more pejorative "cock-" prefix), and LW is deficient in this way and possibly others.

Better to Eat You With

@redheaded&crazie Yes with the forehead kisses. It's the tenderness.

redheaded&crazy

@Better to Eat You With THE TENDERNESS.

*heart crumples*

Jane Err

@Better to Eat You With I'm late to this, but FOREHEAD KISSES. It's my favorite cutesweet thing that my dude does. Also PUSHING HAIR OUT OF FACE.

runner in the garden

@ginalouise can we just bring back the "if you have to lie about it, it's cheating" heuristic?

Dorothea

Instead of sleeping that night, we talked for eight hours. About four hours in, we both ended up in bed together (in what I felt was a platonic fashion). We did cuddle, but nothing crazy happened.

whatever you felt subjectively, this is not objectively platnoic, especially with somebody you don't know well. i'm not condoning the dude's suggestion that cuddling in bed --> consent, but i do think you need to reexamine your conception of what a non-romantic relationship entails.

yamtoes

@blahstudent Yeah, just picture your own significant other doing this with someone else and tell me then that it's "platonic".

pilcrow

@blahstudent Yeah, I think she is conflating platonic and non-overtly sexual. She felt it was platonic because they weren't snogging.

FoxyRoxy

I remain.... fascinated by how many wonderful boyfriends are out there who need to be surrounded by quotation marks. Yeah, girl, your boyfriend is, "wonderful." When you need to prop up your man with his wonderfulness before you get to the matter at hand because you know he's going to look terrible, you already know what to do. I'm not saying cheating is a deal breaker, but as The Man says, smoke, fire, and the relationship betwixt, says quite a lot.

Bittersweet

@FoxyRoxy My guess is that the people with really wonderful boyfriends don't really feel the need to be writing into AaMD...

Living My Best Life Far Away from the Hairpin!

@FoxyRoxy I KNOW. These LWs make me so depressed that sometimes I just end up skipping all the "Ask A"s (except the Clean Person, because at least I can laugh at the "wonderful" boyfriends and their jizzcliners described within) because I just can't with that. Like, can't y'all see how bad this is when you write it all out?????

skyslang

@FoxyRoxy I don't even think it's the technical cheating part that upsets me. Does it matter if he put the p in the v? He's got a fucking crush on this woman! He's pursuing it! He told her he can't stop thinking about her! And he's done it before. I mean, making out with someone twice and then BREAKING UP with your girlfriend so you can have sex with her? That's not cheating, that LEAVING YOUR GIRLFRIEND FOR SOMEONE ELSE.
Then, you know, coming back or whatever. Still...this dude isn't cheating. He's falling in love with other women. That's a much much bigger problem!

antilamentation

@skyslang Good point.

Also, it makes me think: everytime a LW tells everyone about how "wonderful" her/his partner is, how does the partner feel about the LW? If the partner truly felt the LW were as wonderful as the LW seems to feel the partner is, wouldn't the partner be doing everything in her/his abilities to treasure the LW, not hurt him/her, and so on?

It looks to me like a lot of these relationships are really one-sided and unequal in some way, and the LWs know it on some level, and that's why they're writing in. They're hoping to hear from other people that it IS a wonderful relationship, and it IS going to work out if they stick through the crap.

But the one person they really need to hear that from is their partner. And she/he obviously isn't down with that (feeling it too, saying it, trying to work as a team to build a solid, equal, functional relationship), or the LW wouldn't be writing in to try and get validation from complete strangers on the internet.

laurel

LW1: Your boyfriend may love you dearly but he's not capable of monogamy. Either accept that and open the relationship or bail. I don't see a middle way here that isn't full of disrespect and dishonesty toward you.

Porn Peddler

@laurel This doesn't strike me as a good time to open the relationship. a good open relationship requires trust and communication, and it sounds like trust is horribly lacking in this relationship. BAIL.

laurel

@Porn Peddler Communication seems a little thin on the ground, too.

noodge

I would split a seam if Mr. Teenie ended up spending the night away, saying he was at a bro's house, and it turns out he was at a lady's house. Even if nothing happened. Like, SPLIT A SEAM, teenie would be steamy!

The Lady of Shalott

@teenie Not only at a lady's house, but in a lady's bed, cuddling? Hayell no.

Hellcat

@teenie And Hellcat's claws would come out! For me, this is a big fat no, whether any "real" stuff happened or not. If you are, and want to remain, my significant other, there will be no cuddling or anything else "couplish" (hand-holding, lap-sitting, massaging, whatever) going on with anyone who is not me. I do realize that there are couples out there who've got different rules in place, but I don't believe I could be part of one.

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@teenie I was just watching Season 5 of the Sopranos where [engaged lady] and [man not her fiance] get in a car wreck when they're on the way to score coke while [her fiance] is in North Carolina, and [fiance] comes home, finds out, and goes completely ballistic? And then [federal agent lady] tells engaged lady that she's protecting her abuser, and engaged lady is like, "If [my fiance] had been in the car with another woman? I would've killed him."

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@teenie Also, the lying is what would make me the most mad, of all the myriad things here to get mad about.

bocadelperro

@quickdrawkiddo me too. I would be put out if Mr. Delperro told me it was late and he was going to sleep on another woman's couch, but I trust him, so I'd (hopefully) understand. However, I do believe that I'd pop a blood vessel if he lied about it. Generally speaking, one only lies if one has something to hide.

TheUnchosenOne

@teenie It is always worse when they lie! I have spent the night at a female friend's house while I had a girlfriend; it was after her birthday party and she and I and another of her friends just kept talking until oops it was 7 in the morning. When I told my girlfriend I just said "Hey, this happened" and when she was upset my response was "I'm sorry, you are right to be upset."

PistolPackinMama

@TheUnchosenOne Yeah. Pistol Packin' Mama's pistol... would remain in its holster because it is unloaded because I am scared of guns and also it's really a WWII plane, not a handgun.

But.

I would not be a happy PPM if my manfriend did this thing. AND LIED ABOUT IT.

purefog

@teenie As was said in these parts just a couple of days ago, if you're lying about it, it's cheating.

MilesofMountains

@teenie Yup! My boyfriend has had female friends stay overnight at his house, and I'm cool with that. However, if she was in his bed and especially IF HE LIED ABOUT IT?! There would be endless anger on my part.

miss buenos aires

@quickdrawkiddo On the Sopranos tip, I thought you were generously trying not to spoil anything, but then I realized that maybe there are people who don't know who Tony, Christopher and Adrianna are, crazy as that is to imagine. Off-topic, anyway, back to discussion.

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@miss buenos aires Ha! I actually was trying not to spoil since I am behind on All of the TV (hence watching the Sopranos seven years later) and I'm sympathetic to other behind-the-times-ers. But it works that way too!

Kristen

Cocktease. Cocktease? Cocktease... Cock. Tease.

That's not just super-harsh, Married Dude, it's offensive. Both that and the phrase "His clinginess is kind of your fault" are way off the mark. What this girl is doing with her married friend ain't right, but his sexual desires are his own and he bears full responsibility for them.

"Cocktease." Seriously? Yikes.

Dorothea

@Kristen yeah, while i agree with the dude's bottom line, my hackles went up at the "this is your fault, you cock-tease" paragraph. yikes!!!

TheBourneApproximation

@Kristen Not so fond of "home-wrecker" either...

Mira

@Kristen Co-sign! WTF, A Married Dude, who actually says that. Not cool. At all.

Reginal T. Squirge

Agreed! I said the same thing before I saw you posted this! It's awful, patriarchal language.

veryanonymous

@Kristen I thought the "too much leash" comment was weird and kind of 1950s-ish too. Maybe this Dude is old. I hope he's old. Because who wants a boyfriend on a leash? And it's not like he cheated out of too much leash, anyway. Cheating was clearly not within the parameters of the leash. If someone does you wrong, and it looks like they're going to keep doing it, you dump them. You don't tighten a freaking leash.

heyhaley

@Kristen It takes two to cuddle inappropriately!!!! Making him a vagina-tease and a single-and-feeling-okay-about-it-wrecker for cuddling with HER when he's married!!!

JadedStone

@blily I know right! It's like 'well DUH he cheated! You let him out TWO weekends in a row! Pfft. TIGHTER LEASH WOMAN.'
Though that aside, she needs to dump his ass.

tales

@Kristen THANK YOU. I was just bopping along and that phrase hit all my rage-centers. Oh, whatever, LW2, you cock-tease, you. Guess all your cock-teasing is "some sort of invitation or consent", so have fun with your rape?

yeah-elle

@Kristen SERIOUSLY. Who the hell thinks this is acceptable, let alone as part of an advice column?! NOT COOL, A Married Dude.

roadtrips

@blily Yeah no kidding! The problem here is that she isn't being honest about what she needs/expects from him (which, by the way, seems really reasonable, and it makes me SO FRUSTRATED when women feel like they don't have the agency to ask for what they need in a relationship). It's not that she needs to reign him in like some kind of idiotic Kate Hudson movie. And he needs to be equally honest with her if those expectations are things he can't meet. So, he cheated. Not OK. And now he's engaging in a relationship that makes her uncomfortable. She should ask him to cut it out, if that's what she wants, and then if he can't respect that, DONE.

TheUnchosenOne

@Kristen Just signing on to all of this! Super, super gross.

veryanonymous

@heyhaley What you say is true. If the term "homewrecker" applies to anyone in this situation, it's the dude who took vows and is now breaking them.

Sister Administrator

@Kristen I cannot believe "Cock-tease" made it past the censors or whatever. So, so offensive.

Dorothea

LW1: We agree on the big issues — kids, money, life goals — plus most little ones — best dog breed, TV/movie preferences.

i don't think these things are that important, LW1, esp. not in comparison with cheating. it is very important that you and your partner agree on whether to have kids, how much money is important, and stuff like that--but honestly, there aren't that many variations on these themes. people fall into one of maybe 3-4 camps on these things, and if you are at least somewhat conventional, it's likely that more than 25% of the dudes you meet agree with you about them. and i don't really think it's important at all to have the same favorite dog breed as your partner, unless you are professional dog breeders or something.

don't let these small good things distract you from the big bad thing!

lesleygee

@blahstudent i think we need a rom-com about two professional dog breeders who disagree on their favorite dog breeds

itmakesmewonder

@blahstudent You're totally right, and it's frustrating that dating (especially how we use online dating sites) kind of pigeonholes people by their interests and makes it seem like what music you like or whatever indicates compatibility in any significant way at all. It's hard to think that that stuff isn't that important based on how we use it as a sorting algorithm!

@lesleygee Must Love Dogs 2: Must Love This Exact Dog

maybe partying will help

@lesleygee

In undergrad I had these two awesome anthropology professors who were married, and I sort of wondered if they had marital fallings-out due to disagreements over lumping versus splitting, or something.

Dorothea

@itmakesmewonder yeah, i feel like a big part of growing up for me was realizing that it is Not Important for people to have "good taste," despite how cool it made me feel in high school to read pitchfork.

that said, i have had big huge arguments with my boyfriend about things like how he's TOTALLY WRONG and the replacements ARE the greatest band ever. but even if he did like the replacements, i wouldn't let him off the hook for lying/cheating all the time!

angelinha

@lesleygee "He's the PERFECT boyfriend, totally amazing, has never cheated, does not snoop, and is a self-declared feminist...but he LOVES Akitas."

DO NOT DUMP HIM! There's a letter I'd like to see.

parallel-lines

@angelinha I feel like I dated a ton of diamonds in the rough back in my twenties--he's cute, he's employed, he's a little boring sometimes because he likes sports and he's never been to a Mastodon show. DUNZO.

It literally took a friend telling me to grow the fuck up and start dating people, not their music collections.

Dorothea

@parallel-lines i usually had the opposite problem: idolizing obvious jerks because they liked some band before they sold out.

beanie

@blahstudent I kept wondering what the breed was. After watching One Nation Under Dog, that terribly sad documentary on HBO last night, the only acceptable answer is mutts from rescues. OMG I know this is off topic, but that documentary made me cry and cry.

gtrachel

@itmakesmewonder MUST LOVE THIS EXACT DOG ahhhhh I laughed out loud!

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@parallel-lines I keep dating dudes who don't care about baseball, which is really only a problem in the fall when my team is in the playoffs and I'm trying to convince some poor guy that a sports bar is actually a GOOD place for a date, or checking the score on my phone like some kind of asshole. BUT then I'm like, "This must be what every guy in history has felt like," and I suck it up. There are more important things!

Vera Knoop

@itmakesmewonder This is so true. I don't care about being with someone who likes the same music that I do, though it's nice to have some overlap. I care about being with someone who won't mock and belittle me where our tastes (inevitably) diverge.

frigwiggin

@parallel-lines This is where I have to admit that I'm still kind of mad at my boyfriend for calling Beck "boring." THE MAN IS A GENIUS YOU TAKE THAT BACK

Edit: This was like...three years ago, mind you.

Emma Peel

@blahstudent This is very solid advice. I would say in getting married, the priorities should be something like:
1. Not a cheater, abuser, professional con man, etc.
2. Respectful. (This is really part of #1.)
3. General agreement on whether or not to have kids.
...
5. Ability to compromise and live with each other on other Big Values questions (where to live, how to spend money, religion, family, whatever other things are Very Very Important to you)
...
214. Liking the same TV shows.
...
5,232. Liking the same dog breeds.

Onymous

@blahstudent seriously.
If OKCupid's tone-deaf matching algorithm has taught me anything it's that agreeing on stuff is an absolutely terrible way of predicting my eventual opinion of somebody.

purefog

@gtrachel Me too.

Scandyhoovian

@Onymous There's nothing quite like a fan convention to knock that sensibility right out of your head. You may think "surely, all the people that also like Battlestar Galactica must be totally cool," but you'd be wrong. So, so wrong. I've met some awesome people through DragonCon, but I have also found some people I never in my life want to interact with, ever again. And they allllll share my "little things" interests.

wee_ramekin

@Emma Peel WITH THE CAVEAT that if your person just loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooves Siberian Huskies, then you unfortunately have to break up with them.

Huskies are great, but holy howling, energetic, fur-everywhere balls, Batman.

ETA: Oh, also Weimaraners.

themegnapkin

@angelinha I was just phased out by this guy who was super great except (1) for not liking me enough, apparently, and (2) . . . he's only ever been to one concert, in his life. And, a life that has lasted nearly 40 years so far, not an 18-year life. I feel like that's kind of a strange thing, and a legit incompatibility - like, it says something broader about his personality?
Also, in general, I don't think I could be with someone who thinks Billy Joel is a great artist. To me, that would be like thinking Thomas Kinkade is a great artist, and that is not right.

Emma Peel

@themegnapkin I'm 25 and I've never been to a concert (I assume we mean non-classical) of my own accord, with the exception of the annual spring music extravaganza at my college and a couple of other times bands came to campus. I don't really ever plan to go to one, because I have many other things I'd rather spend money on. Now I'm curious as to what this says about my personality...

(This is also why I'm leery of OKCupid, which my friends keep pushing me to try. I get the feeling that "not really that much of a music person" isn't a thing that goes over well in online dating.)

Mira

@Emma Peel I'm 26 and I've only been to a few non-classical concerts, and a good half of them were Billy Joel/Elton John concerts with my family, whatever, they've both written some legit songs. I'm not ashamed.

I don't know, I really love music, but I just don't get so invested in bands that I really care much whether someone else likes them or wants to go see them live or whatever. Could it really be so much of a dealbreaker for most people on OKCupid? Other people's taste in music rarely says very much about their personalities, in my experience.

angelinha

@Emma Peel YES! Me too! I have been to a couple of concerts but it's always been when friends have gotten extra tickets and invited me and I've spent a couple hours listening to that band's songs online before we've gone. I somehow never really developed my own musical taste. In the car I just listen to popular radio stations and always get really anxious when meeting new people because I know they're going to ask that classic icebreaker, so, what kind of music do you like??? and I don't have any good answer.

Xanthophyllippa

@wee_ramekin Ohhhhhh but I just saw the most gorgeous blue Weimarameanrea...Weim...Weimar-dog today. She was lovely, and knew how to drink from a drinking fountain.

themegnapkin

@blahstudent to be fair, I am trying to make myself feel better about having been phased out by this dude. I don't think lack of interest in/awareness of music, by itself, says anything about your one's personality. In the context of this guy, though, his not having any curiosity about music was part of a trend I saw in him of not being interested in *anything*. Like, he's not a reader, he doesn't watch tv/movies, keep up with news, travel, have any hobbies, etc. While we were dating, I tried many times to draw out his personality, but I couldn't get out of him that he does anything besides work, run on a treadmill in his basement, and [one other identifying thing, on the off chance that he might read this and recognize himself. But since he doesn't have interests, it's unlikely that he's going to read the Hairpin]. So, I'm sorry if anyone took my comments personally -- they were personal, but not aimed at anyone on this thread.
@Mira: I'm sorry, I loathe Billy Joel. Listening to him is like hearing nails on chalkboard.

Mira

@themegnapkin Ha, no worries! I have the same thing with Neil Young (since I'm on the subject of music my parents like). Something about his voice just makes me crazy.

Also, kind of sounds like you dodged a bullet with that guy? Only so long you can talk about treadmills.

themegnapkin

@themegnapkin and. . . dumped. Not just phased out, dumped. Thanks, guy, for dumping me while I still have another ~2 hours of work left to do.

itmakesmewonder

@themegnapkin :( Sucks to that guy's assmar.

le mango

@Emma Peel Number 4 is fucking, right? It is. It's fucking.

packedsuitcase

@wee_ramekin Oh thank you for the Husky comment! Dudefriend wants us to get one sooooo badly, but all I can think of is black suit + white fur = potentially not the most professional looking outfit. Also, they don't go so well with my preferred tropical climate.

Reginal T. Squirge

"Where there's smoke, there's fire. Where there's wraps, there's smoothies." - Janeane Garofalo, Bridgetown Comedy Festival 2012

Also, I don't think it's cool to call someone a "cock-tease" pretty much ever.

stonefruit

@Reginal T. Squirge agreed. let's just retire that particular epithet, unless we are discussing someone who is actually teasing (like, "na-na-na-na-na, you are a poopy-face" kindergarten-type teasing).

noodge

@stonefruit i think only when someone is actually teasing a male poultry. that's acceptable.

stonefruit

@teenie fair.

WhiskeySour

@teenie I like this stance.

"Your rooster's tail feathers look like the hair of some sort of bad 'Flock of Seagulls' cover band. The kind of cover band that mostly plays 'gigs' in one of the member's dad's garage. With the door down."

"Stop being such a cock-tease! The poor rooster can't help it!"

noodge

@WhiskeySour "cock-a-doodle-doo? more like cock-a-doodle-DON'T... who taught that rooster to crow like that?"

Bebinn

LW 1: He's establishing a pattern! Run!

applestoapples

Okay, Dude, let's back up on the "cocktease." She may be a bit oblivious to the situation as a whole, but the onus is on the married dude who made a vow to his wife to keep his own shit in check.

vunder

@applestoapples Agree about cocktease, but I'd substitute "oblivious" with "complicit."

applestoapples

@vunder I'd put it somewhere between the two, because what I read is that she didn't really think she was crossing a boundary because it was platonic in her head. Which is not necessarily ideal, but less egregious than full-on complicity.

Still, even if she was doing a Beyonce booty pop inches in front of his face, I think he's to blame if he goes there.

vunder

@applestoapples He's to blame, but she's complicit. If for only one reason: He straight-up lied to his wife about where he was and who he was with. She knows this, because she heard it happen, and she's willing to let it happen again. He's a sleaze but she's 100% complicit.

meetapossum

@vunder Yes! It's the "she's willing to let it happen again" part that bothers me the most. Could she have been oblivious to his feelings before? Sure, but she says now that she KNOWS he has a "thing" for her yet still says she'd let it happen again if he attempted to do it. That's the problem!

Scandyhoovian

@vunder Yeah, that's exactly what stands out to me here -- she was 100% completely aware that he lied to his wife about where he was. That BY ITSELF is an enormous red flag. If it was platonic, he would not feel the need to hide it from his wife. Not even a little bit.

TheUnchosenOne

@Scandyhoovian And he said he did it because "he knew she'd freak out." Oh, word? WELL I CERTAINLY CAN"T IMAGINE WHY SHOULD WOULD BE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH THAT AT ALL.

applestoapples

@vunder I'm probably giving LW#2 a LOT of benefit of the doubt (maybe too much, but I don't know her personally).
I have an acquaintance who acts similarly with dudefriends who are in relationships and tends to naively think that only her boundaries matter. This is the sense I got from LW#2 and her wanting it to "happen again."

laurel

@applestoapples Seriously, the fact that she's not putting out is REALLY NOT THE PROBLEM.

angelinha

"It also has recently come to light that he has a thing for me."

Stop it right now, radio broadcasting girl. You knew from the start that Kyle was into you, and you liked it. And who wouldn't?? He's an older guy with whom you share interests and competence, and it was a major boost to your self-esteem that he wanted to hang out with you. We get it! But don't act like you didn't know exactly what you were doing, inviting him into your bed to cuddle and lie to his wife! No, he's at least equally to blame here (probably more), but you are not innocent, and you should go back to class and find a new radio broadcasting/cuddling partner, and get rid of Kyle!

Dorothea

@angelinha maybe LW1 is really young? because when i was younger, i had this weird perception that there were things i was supposed to (pretend to) not notice, like my ability to control my own life and affect the lives of others. but if LW1 is old enough to invite married dudes over to her place after class, then she is old enough to take some responsibility for herself!

billie_crusoe

@blahstudent I was THAT oblivious when I was 19-21ish.

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@blahstudent Yeah I am starting to question her alleged "competence."

Dorothea

@che haha also that!

billie_crusoe

@blahstudent It's embarrassing. OK, 20-year-old Che, why were you surprised when he wanted to have sex with you after months of cuddling? I don't even...

vunder

Question for LW#1: what did he say when you asked him why he thought that writing that thing to the engaged lady was ok or appropriate? Maybe the truth is that he's just not ready to focus on a big time committed relationship yet, even if he wants to be ready. As for all that "we're so well-matched" stuff: it's overrated. Timing is everything.

wee_ramekin

@vunder I <3 your avatar. Where is it from?

vunder

@wee_ramekin Thank you! It's Charley Harper - he was a mid-century modernist style illustrator of mostly wildlife, based in Cincinnati. He passed away in 2007. My husband's family lived in Cincy for a time when he was a child and his mother was a volunteer at the zoo there. Harper did a lot of posters for the zoo, so a few have remained in the family. Since he passed away, his exposure has raised quite a bit - I think Todd Oldham is a big fan.

frigwiggin

@vunder Charley Harper! I love his work.

laurel

@vunder I have the Todd Oldham book on Harper and it is the best. I would love to see the mosaic mural thingy in the federal building in Cincinnati IRL. <3

JadedStone

WAIT. IS THIS WHERE WE DEVOLVE INTO SHARING OUR FAV FLASHMOB PROPOSALS??? YES? OK THEN.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su1YLAjty-U

I can't seem to find that other really long one where the fake girl throws water in the dude's face. AH.

(granted, if this actually happened to me I think I'd die)

Quinn A@twitter

@Jade Oh, man. There's one that's done to Bruno Mars' "Marry You". And the guy has apparently misheard the lyric "dancing juice" as "dancing Jews". So there's a moment where he gestures at some dude wearing a tallis, and I couldn't decide if that was hilarious or offensive.

Atheist Watermelon

@Quinn A@twitter this has nothing to do with marriage, or proposals, but for YEARS I thought Paul McCartney was singing "Hey, Jew". Not so much offensive as... what?

Atheist Watermelon

@LittleBookofCalm (for the record, I may have been in junior high- high school... and i was homeschooled... at the time....)

wee_ramekin

@LittleBookofCalm Oh those Jews! Always taking a sad song and making it better!

Atheist Watermelon

@wee_ramekin LIKE LIKE LIKE

H.E. Ladypants

@Quinn A@twitter My boyfriend* purposefully mis-sings that lyric and then boogies around proclaiming, "woo! Dancing Jews!"

We live in a silly house.

*who is Jewish.

Bittersweet

@LittleBookofCalm My daughter, after watching Petula Clark sing "Tomorrow" from Annie on an old Muppet Show episode: "When I'm stuck with a day that's grey and lonely, I just think about gin, and grin, and say...the sun'll come out, tomorrow..." That's my girl.

stonefruit

@wee_ramekin it's funny 'cause it's true!

ranran

Thanks for the awesome Devo reference, dude -- I make that one all the time! It is very useful in explaining certain things. On the other hand, nobody ever seems to know what I'm talking about.

meaux

When I got engaged (I did the proposing) I really had no idea the dude didn't wear an engagement ring too. It just never occurred to me. It was a spur of the moment proposal, so I used a ring we'd gotten out of a gumball machine earlier that weekend, but then later I bought him a simple silver band at a street fair that he wore till we got married with the fancier rings.

He snagged his mother's engagement ring for me, as she was divorced and didn't need it. Interestingly, she had purchased her own ring, as her man was in college and couldn't afford one, but she was working at the time. And now I don't need it either, because I too got divorced from her son. Ring curse? Could be!

Lemonnier

"taking grades?"

Is that A Thing People Say?

wee_ramekin

@Lemonnier I think it's a play on the expression "kicking ass and taking names".

wee_ramekin

QUESTION: Is the site really REALLY janky for anyone else today? As of literally just now, the site has:

~ eaten a comment I made
~ posted said eaten comment after I posted another comment
~ made me jump to the bottom of the page every time I 'like' a comment
~ shown commenter numbers
~ when I click on my avatar name to get to my comments page, I am taken to The Hairpin homepage.

I'm on Firefox...are any of these things happening to other folks?!

noodge

@wee_ramekin yep, me too. (i was surprised to see how "old" I am too - go figure!)

TheUnchosenOne

@wee_ramekin 3, 4, and 5! On Chrome. Obviously the messed with the comment system and things maybe didn't go great? I dunno, but things are super janky.

bocadelperro

@wee_ramekin I'm on firefox, and I'm getting the comment jump, too. But the new firefox is...not great.

Scandyhoovian

@wee_ramekin The site's been bouncing me back to the top of the page a lot when I go to hit 'reply' to things, it's really weird!!

WhiskeySour

@wee_ramekin Yes to the last three. And I'm on Chrome.

Edit:
@TheUnchosenOne Twins!

sarah girl

@wee_ramekin Same issues, also on Firefox. The colors are also weird in comments sections!

**Wait, the numbers just disappeared after I made this comment!! Even weirder!

Scandyhoovian

@Sarah H. It's really irritating me that clicking thumbs-up means "go to the bottom!!!" Very strange.

TheUnchosenOne

@WhiskeySour You have excellent taste in browsers!

wee_ramekin

@all I have written to Jane and Nicole and told them to take a look at this comment thread. So keep posting here if you experience commenting difficulties!

Onymous

@wee_ramekin
It logged me out for the first time in like a month.
and just a second ago I clicked replay and instead of the login box popping up it just reloaded the page.
edit: also on firefox

stonefruit

@wee_ramekin 3-5 for me, too. Except now the numbers are sort of doing a "now you see us, now you don't" thing where half the time they are visible and then POOF! gonzo. I'm on Firefox, but not by choice (it's either that or IE, here).

purefog

@Scandyhoovian I think that's because you are not signed in. It was happening to me too, then I signed in. Problem solved.

redheaded&crazy

@wee_ramekin ALSO THE NUMBERRRRS i don't like seeing the numbers

Although it doesn't seem to be doing it anymore for me! It was doing the jump down to bottom after liking comments thing for me too.

(i'm on chrome)

thebestjasmine

@wee_ramekin Yes, I'm doing the bounce down to the bottom of the page thing too, and the colors are super weird (white in this section). I'm on Chrome.

whateverlolawants

@wee_ramekin I've had a lot of trouble too. But I never know if I should blame the IE 8 browser on my clunky work computer or what.

Fodforever

@wee_ramekin Site's been fine for me, but I wanted to chime in to support your use of the word 'janky'!

Fodforever

@wee_ramekin Site's been fine for me, but I wanted to chime in to support your use of the word 'janky'!

itmakesmewonder

@all I emailed Jane about a separate tech issue but she said they're changing comments systems currently, hence the in-between growing pains.

redheaded&crazy

@itmakesmewonder I thought this was the case and I think some other commenters were talking about it previously.

Also earlier when I would click on people's usernames it would go back to the main page but with parts of articles weirdly bolded.

I'm just using this thread to post errors now ... that's helpful right?

sarah girl

@redheaded&crazie Just to update, things look pretty normal to me again! Yay!

Onymous

@itmakesmewonder That makes sense. Disqus just released their new version a bit ago.

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

@wee_ramekin Mine was taking me to the top of the page every time I tried to reply and showed the numbers in Internet Explorer, but a refresh fixed it.

MilesofMountains

@Sarah H. I think they've fixed it! I couldn't log in all morning, because it'd just drop me to the bottom of the page instead of opening a log-in window.

Xanthophyllippa

@wee_ramekin I've ALWAYS been bounced to the bottom when I like a comment or post a comment. I just Ctrl-F my username (or whatever bizarre word I used in the comment) to find where I left off.

SuperGogo

@wee_ramekin Let me tell you, not being able to log on and comment at all yesterday (or even like any of the comments) was traumatic.

paddlepickle

Just in case anyone reading this is a guy who might end up proposing to me someday: Do not do that shit without asking if I want to get married. Just don't.

Also, don't call anyone a cocktease in my presence unless you have video evidence of them making fun of a rooster.

Lemonnier

@paddlepickle Right on! On a related note, I have heard horror stories of people surprise-proposing to other people IN FRONT OF PARENTS/ENTIRE FAMILIES. Like hey, we're at dinner with my parents, you wanna get married? No pressure or anything, just, my mom and dad are right here. Nooooo pressure.

beezus.

@paddlepickle gobchickendance.gif

paddlepickle

@Lemonnier Oh god, those are awful. I also just can't imagine feeling like you're at the point where asking makes sense if you've NEVER talked about. I've talked about whether I want to get married with most of my friends! These things come up! I can see if you've talked about it and said you definitely want to but just haven't been specific about WHEN, but IF?? Bad plan, dude, bad plan!

frigwiggin

@dahlface "Has anyone in this family ever even seen a chicken?"

paddlepickle

@dahlface Good point: I should amend that to include if you've seen the teasing someone IN a chicken suit. Gob is a total cocktease.

Mira

@paddlepickle I don't care for Gob.

paddlepickle

@Mira I want everyone who made hilarious Arrested Development jokes on this thread to know that it is THEIR FAULT that I'm going to go home and watch AD on Netflix instead of packing for my move on Friday. ALL YOUR FAULT!!

wee_ramekin

@paddlepickle Just make sure to drink some ~*~juice~*~ while you're at it!

(That party's gonna be off the chain!)

Mira

@paddlepickle I've made a huge mistake.

m. marie

@Faintly Macabre Or, for a complete compilation of chicken moments,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9TXVMkQ29g

I lose it around 0:50 and I'm gone for the rest of the video...

Mr. Kitty

The engagement story is cute, but if I am ever proposed to at a restaurant, I might just cringe a little. Can't we all be a little more creative? Put a little more thought into it?

LW1: Ahhh this makes me sick. Your boyfriend wants to live the single life and still come home to his girlfriend. It's not your fault, but it will be if you allow this to continue. Break up for awhile, if not forever. It sounds like he needs some time to grow up, and you need some time to figure out what truly makes a boyfriend wonderful.

Oh, squiggles

LW1. He's wonderful but you can't trust him because he cheats on you... What? Doesn't sound wonderful. And honestly, you can have a great relationship with someone who doesn't share your every interest and opinion! Having a bunh of shit in common doesn't make him a good person, or this the best relationship of your life.

LW2. First off, cocktease isnt an okay term....but you are being naive if you think you aren't showing him encouragement. Whatever you are thinking or feeling, doesn't really matter. You know this is headed in a bad direction. Cut it off now before it gets worse.

Married Dude: cocktease isn't just harsh, it is sexist.

spineapple tap

@Awesomely Nonfunctional YES, perfectly said! That was what bugged me about the first letter: having many things in common alone does not equal dream relationship. It's better to be with someone who consistently treats you respectfully (read: NOT flirtatiously emailing other women), even if they're your polar opposite. Imagine the hot chemistry you could have with a fresh dude who did not attend your elementary school!

dabbyfanny

LW2- if you want to be actual, platonic, friends with this guy, you need to set some ground rules and stick to them. Don't be alone with him, no cuddling, and don't get all emotionally intimate with him. I'd even avoid going for friendly beers with the guy. I personally believe that if a heterosexual male and a heterosexual female who really like each other spend enough time together, they will develop feelings for each other. How do you think affairs get started? You two have allready gone way over the line of what most people would be okay with their spouse doing, time to back up (and don't be surprised if he makes a full on pass at you in the next week or two.)

antilamentation

@dabbyfanny I don't think it's a good idea to try for a friendship with that guy at all. He's already told the LW he has feelings for her. Trying to keep contact with the guy is not going to help him re-focus on his wife and marriage - which is what he should be doing if he wants to be fair to everyone involved. It's just going to give him more contact with the woman he clearly wants to physically cheat on his wife with - and is already cheating with in terms of getting emotionally intimate in inappropriate ways (lying to his wife about her.)

It could be he re-focuses on the marriage and decides it's time to end that. Even then, I don't think it would be a good idea to try to be friends with the guy. This is a guy who is showing the LW that he will lie to the person who is meant to be closest to him (his wife), and that he doesn't respect the boundaries of his relationships (with his wife, with the LW who is supposed to be a "friend". He is hitting on the LW, even if the LW is too naive or doesn't care enough to see that!)

I think it's not a good idea to try and be in any kind of relationship with that guy. He lies. He does not respect boundaries. He's bad news. LW seems relatively clueless about what are appropriate boundaries in relationships. I think finding friends who can model those would be better for the LW.

Oh, squiggles

If you don't surprise me with an overpriced piece of compressed carbon pried from mother earth by the hands of someone oppressed then how will I know if you really luurve me?!?!

Who says you need a ring to get engaged anyway?

paddlepickle

@Awesomely Nonfunctional For reals. If a dude proposed to me without asking kind of ring I wanted, he'd end up sorely misspending his 'life's savings', since my answer would be "I dunno, something from a crackerjack box? Or can I just have a pizza with my name written in toppings, or something?"

TheJacqueline

@Awesomely Nonfunctional THANK YOU. God I hate engagement rings and the industry surrounding them.

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@Awesomely Nonfunctional Also, is the idea that a girl could propose to a guy still total heresy? I am actually curious. It doesn't seem so crazy to me, but I've come to realize that what does and doesn't sound crazy to me relationship-wise rarely jibes with popular opinion.

H.E. Ladypants

@quickdrawkiddo See my comment above! I am totally planning on being the one to drop the proposal bomb and am running into all sorts of questions concerning what I should do about this ring business.

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@H.E. Ladypants Aw hell yeah! High five! I will scoot right up there and see what the commentariat has to say.

TheUnchosenOne

@Awesomely Nonfunctional I sometimes worry that my refusal to ever buy a diamond will be a problem someday, but then I think "The chance that I will get to that point with someone for whom it is a deal-breaker is extremely unlikely," and I stop worrying.

Oh, squiggles

If I actually found someone who I wanted to marry, who also wanted to marry me, then jewelry (which I rarely wear) just won't matter.

I see nothing wrong with girl being the asker. Which is why the jewelry thing is weird. It's not like we need insurance against being jilted at the alter (which used to almost mean you were a 'ruined' woman). Get a gift or a symbol if you want, but the important part is the asking and the accepting.

puppyemissary

@quickdrawkiddo I proposed to my husband! On instant messenger. We are happy.

Llllauren

@Awesomely Nonfunctional My boyfriend and I have been talking about maybe-possibly getting engaged at the end of the next academic year, and a lot of that discussion has been based on the WIC (wedding industrial complex) and feminism, etc. I lovelovelove rings (I run ringporn.tumblr.com), and I shamelessly drool over pretty rings, engagement or otherwise. He knows that I'd love an engagement ring, but he also knows that (a) I'd be getting him a ring too, (b) there will be conflict-free materials only (his academic area is international relations, so he brought this one up), and (c) BEING PRE-ENGAGED IS KEY.

We also definitely discussed having an engagement puppy instead. Ughhh golden retriever/corgi mixes. THE CUTEST.

Man, I love that guy.

Oh, squiggles

@Llllauren Engagement puppy sounds awesome! Celebrating your engagement with a new little life in your home sounds just as meaningful as jewelry.

Obviously, if you are a big fan of jewelry, rings in particular, then an engagement ring makes sense. I just don't think they need to be mandatory!

Xanthophyllippa

@TheJacqueline I love engagement rings as a practice but hate the industry - I'd much rather have something from the family or something with a funny personal story behind it than something from Jared. I have one of those silver rings that's like the Borromean rings, which I wear on the same finger as (and underneath) a pretty little silver moonstone ring I got at a craft sale. Every now and then someone I don't know asks if they're an engagement/wedding ensemble (even though they're on my right hand and I live in the U.S.) and I look at them and think, huh -- that would actually work.

Llllauren

@Awesomely Nonfunctional They definitely should not be mandatory! I meant to put that in my post but then got side-tracked by how much I love rings. Woops.

squeee

MD, thank you for schooling A Lady who cuddled with a married man. I was on the receiving end when I found out my boyfriend of five years had cuddled with a mutual friend. I sit on my high horse and say that I would never do that, because, duh, it's inappropriate. But maybe these ladies just don't know?? I'm ok with the harsh words MD used, because I have no sympathy for the oblivious home wreckers out there.

wee_ramekin

@squeee I'm really not okay with the name-calling.

I think you can be very much anti-LW #2's actions without resorting to misogynist slurs.

Living My Best Life Far Away from the Hairpin!

@wee_ramekin YES, I'm so glad that everyone is (RIGHTFULLY!) jumping down this married dude's throat about calling someone a "cocktease"--strike that one from the lexicon, please. As far as "homewrecker," I would MUCH prefer that she be called a "CO-homewrecker" because it def takes TWO to tango.

wee_ramekin

@Katzen-party Well, and also, "home-wrecker" puts a lot of onus on someone who has not made a commitment to building a home with another person.

Do I think she's being selfish and immature? Heck yes, and I kind of want to smack her. Do I think that this dude's home would be wrecked with someone else if the letter-writer were not up for "platonic" cuddles? Why yes, yes I do. Kyle is the homewrecker here, not the letter-writer.

squeee

I don't really see why cocktease is sexist in itself, I think it's just used wrongly in a lot of instances. Kyle, meanwhile, is a pussytease. But LW #2 should be ashamed of herself for knowingly doing something so obviously inappropriate with a married man—and since she's the letter writer and not Kyle, she deserves the smack down.

wee_ramekin

@squeee You may be right that in and of itself, "cocktease" is not inherently sexist. However, there is a whole lot of history and context that comes bundled into that word, and all of that IS sexist. I'm thinking of the fact that when I hear "cocktease", what it implies is that a woman is teasing some guy sexually and then not delivering, and that is enough of a "crime" to warrant a slur. It carries with it the assumption that a woman should deliver something up if she is going to be such a tease.

Also, no one actually says pussytease. When there is no epithet in the language that conveys disdain and slut-shaming toward men that is conveyed in "cocktease"*, then I think we're dealing with a sexist word.

*NB - I'm not saying that we should create one! I'm generally not a fan of 'cocktease', since I think it's kind of...a gateway concept to rape-culture.

wee_ramekin

@squeee Also, while we disagree about the words A Married Dude used, I completely share your disgust toward, LW #2, by the by. It's hard for me to imagine anyone being this naive about the situation, and faux-naivete to cover up shitty behavior sticks in my craw rul hard.

Living My Best Life Far Away from the Hairpin!

@wee_ramekin I know--"homewrecker" is a sexist term that has a really sexist history and I shouldn't have been so flip about it. It's just less obviously vulgar and horrid on its face than "cocktease" (again, kill this word with fire, please) so I was a little distracted by that word, but I should have been more careful than to use it as a more neutral word than it is. It's like a lot of slurs out there--you can definitely use it to describe a guy but it loses a lot of the power it has when you throw it at a woman. Kind of like what you're saying about "cocktease" and "pussytease" above. But oh yes, Kyle is absolutely, unquestionably a homewrecker and I was just trying to say that LW does not deserve to be called a "cocktease" (god, I hate typing this, thankfully I think this will be the last time...) but she is definitely a participant (and we could argue about the degree of her culpability until the cows come home) in effing up this guy's relationship since she KNOWS he's married and she's going around making excuses about "platonic cuddling" (ugh, god, just because a p didn't go in a v doesn't make shit platonic).

Living My Best Life Far Away from the Hairpin!

@wee_ramekin "...faux-naivete to cover up shitty behavior sticks in my craw rul hard." Boom. Yes.

wharrgarbl

@squeee Pretty much the whole point of calling someone a cocktease is to communicate the concept that she's done something very bad by failing to provide sex to a dude who feels entitled to it based on his reading of her behavior. It's inherently based on the idea of a dude being entitled to sex with a woman based on dude-judged grounds about her dude-perceived behavior. Socially, the idea of a man owing a woman sex (outside the realm of fundamentalist circles in which the woman is owed children) has about as much traction as a clumsy dog on a freshly-waxed floor, so good luck trying to shame someone based on his status as a boxtease.

Objectively, though, the idea that you can seriously, in a grown-up conversation, be insulted for sexually "teasing" someone via behavior that is not sexual is pretty fucked, no matter what configuration of orientations and genders is involved. Eating a popsicle/ice cream cone in front of someone doesn't mean you owe them sex. Giving someone a backrub doesn't mean you owe them sex. Cuddling someone doesn't mean you owe them sex. Hell, even taking frickin' money from someone in exchange for sex doesn't mean you irrevocably owe them sex. It means you owe them a refund.

squeee

@wharrgarbl and @wee_ramekin - Saying that a guy is entitled to sex because of a woman's perceived "leading him on" is of course unacceptable, but I don't think that's the usage here. it's not about Kyle deserving full on sex from her after she crossed boundaries. it's simply about her engaging in inappropriate activity with a married man, which I think falls under the scope of that word. I acknowledge though that I am pro-name-calling, being post-breakup, where said home-wrecking-cuddling (etc) happened (all parties being at fault).

Mira

@squeee "Saying that a guy is entitled to sex because of a woman's perceived "leading him on" is of course unacceptable"

But that's what the word "cocktease" means. I'm all for namecalling! But just, you know, call her an asshole instead, you know? Harsh is fine (and deserved!) but sexist is not fine. And "cocktease" is sexist. Ugh, this word, why do I keep typing it! It's so disgusting!

P.S. Sorry about the circumstances around your recent breakup, that sounds like it must have sucked bigtime.

wharrgarbl

@squeee Except that "engaging in inappropriate activity with a married man" is pretty much the definition of "home-wrecker." "Cocktease" has no such implications--it has nothing to do with how appropriate or inappropriate it would be for the woman in question to actually fuck the dude she's not fucking. It starts and stops with the perception that the woman has engaged in behavior "promising" sex--apparently by sharing a bed with him in this case--with no intention of putting out.

You should probably keep in mind that, when it comes to names rooted in misogyny, name-calling is kind of like throwing a grenade at someone within arm's reach of you. LW#2 is behaving badly, no doubt. And she's behaving badly over a dude who has, through his own even worse behavior, proven pretty thoroughly that he isn't worth compromising her ethics over. She's being a complete asshole over someone who's being a complete shitbag. But when we reach for gendered, sexist insults like "cocktease" and "home-wrecker," we're not just telling LW#2 that we disapprove of her behavior. We're implicitly agreeing that these are legitimate ways to shame women.

Mira

@wharrgarbl I wish I could thumbs-up this comment x 1,000,000!

wharrgarbl

@squeee I also mean, feel free to call the wronging parties in your case lots of things. It sounds like they have it coming. Scavenging assholes and treasonous cheaters are terrible things to wind up having in your life, and it sucks that you're going through that. But it's kind of like the sexism being shoveled around in politics--if it's okay to call Sarah Palin a cunt but not Hillary Clinton (or vice versa), we're signing onto it being basically okay to call women cunts and fighting instead about who gets to be on the right side of the line. It's self-defeating.

ETA: Sorry for getting on the hobbyhorse, but between the Gretchen Carlson thing and the S.E. Cupp thing and Sarah Palin/Christine O'Donnell/Michele Bachmann everything, I've been overthinking this lately.

squeee

@wharrgarbl etc - welp, strangers on the Internet, I disagree with that definition of cocktease, so agree to disagree. When in Rome. She was behaving in an inappropriate sexual / social manor. What's a word for that? She's not being promiscuous, she's not being an asshole, maybe "unscrupulous"? Sigh.

wharrgarbl

@squeee I'd say she's definitely being an asshole. Dude's gotta lie to somebody about staying at your place? Dude can get the fuck out of your place. She's also being unscrupulous, yes. I mean, we have lots of words for the shitty behavior exhibited. She's being unethical. She's colluding with and abetting the dude's sketchtastic bullshit in spite of having no stated beef with the wife. She's weasel-wording her way around how much agency she has to shut this down and how much she does or doesn't want this to happen. She's freaking out because all of this somehow suddenly means something now that she doesn't have plausible deniability and oh god, what does she do?, which is pretty spineless. I figure she's pretty young if she's giving up on her bachelor's, but at that age you should still be able to halt the retreat into studied helplessness, put on your big-girl pants, and decide whether or not you want this guy--who is not even your boyfriend--in your life and on what terms.

Kaitlyn Kochany@twitter

Oh man I feel like LW1 and LW2 are somehow dealing with the SAME GUY. What is this, an Archie comic?

1: Even if you could trust your boyfriend, that time has clearly passed. You need to have a serious discussion about boundaries with him, and you need to be honest: if his hanging out with other women bothers you to the extent that you snoop, you have a responsibility to your relationship and yourself to say, "No, because that bothers me" when he asks if he can continue hanging out with other ladies. It sounds like you have a ton of Serious History with him and that can make a break-up really unappealing, but on paper, he seems like a schmuck who probably is having an emotional affair. Do you want to be with someone who is having an affair?

LW2: Picture yourself in his wife's shoes. Do you aspire for your husband to cuddle with his younger female friends for hours? Do you want him to lie about it to you? Time to tell him to back off, tell the truth, and book a motel room for those "oops, I accidentally stayed too late" nights - if you truly, as you say, have no romantic feeling for him, it should be easy.

annev6

@Kaitlyn Kochany@twitter Right? Never do something you wouldn't want to be on the other side of, basically.
And don't consider marrying or staying with someone who doesn't stand up for your relationship and is willing to make you feel like a fool.

Living My Best Life Far Away from the Hairpin!

@Kaitlyn Kochany@twitter "What is this, an Archie comic?" ARCHIE WOULD NEVER. Meaning all of his cuddling is sexual in nature and not platonic.

Living My Best Life Far Away from the Hairpin!

@Kaitlyn Kochany@twitter Sorry, I clearly get too excited by an Archie reference.

Kaitlyn Kochany@twitter

@Katzen-party Oh man, I hear you. This is obviously more of a Reggie move, anyway.

Living My Best Life Far Away from the Hairpin!

@Kaitlyn Kochany@twitter Yeeessssssss.

Ham Snadwich

"Oh man I stayed too late and missed the last bus. If only there were some type of service where a car would pick you up and take you to a destination in exchange for money. The car could also be yellow."

noodge

@Ham Snadwich RIGHT? i was thinking the same exact thing. silly, lying, married man.

paddlepickle

@Ham Snadwich WINBOMB

Ham Snadwich

@Megoon - Well sure, but it's kind of impersonal, don't you think?

cosmia

@Ham Snadwich Eh, to be absolutely fair, not that I condone what happened here but depending on how far they live from each other that cab ride might've cost upwards of thirty bucks.

Mira

@cosmia Yeah, it's not the staying over that's the problem, it's the lying and the cuddling. I have often crashed on a friend's couch (not bed! and alone, that part is also important!) and it's never been an issue with my long-term girlfriend, because I don't lie to her about where I am, what I'm doing, and who I'm with, and I don't cuddle with other people, "platonically" or otherwise. She never has crashed with someone while we've been together, but I would be totally okay with it if she did, because I trust her and we both know where our relationship boundaries are with respect to touching other people.

I feel sorry for this dude's wife, he sounds pretty awful.

annev6

@Ham Snadwich Ahhhh shoot I just said this below in a way less funny way. Seriously though. Can we just change that sentence to "I told my wife I was at Bob's because it would totally make sense for me to just sleep at Bob's, but if I told her I was here she'd make me call a cab and I want to stay here and have sex with you."

Ham Snadwich

@annev6 - Wives, amirite? It's like they're asking to be lied to.

MilesofMountains

@cosmia If his choices are spending $30-$50 on a cab or doing something his wife would consider a major violation of her trust, a decent husband would find the $30.

purefog

@Mira This dude, like the dude in the letter? Or this A Dude? (Or both?)

Mira

@purefog Ha, I meant small-D dude, the dude in the letter, but now that you mention it I'm not a fan of this A Married Dude, either, and I do feel kind of sorry for any lady married to a dude who uses "cocktease" to mean a woman who is not actually currently mocking a rooster. Gross.

For some reason, of all the categories of (usually wonderful!) advice givers on the Hairpin, Married Dudes seem to me to be the most consistently weird and sexist.

wee_ramekin

@Mira They really, truly are! I concur with this totally!

Mira

@wee_ramekin So glad that's not just me! I feel like every time I read Ask A Married Dude, there's at least one comment in the advice that would be straight-up offensive even on a general-interest site, and which on this one is genuinely awful. The regular non-married Dudes are mostly cool. It's strange. Do Dudes start hating women when they get married or something? What is with that?

wee_ramekin

@Mira I don't know! On the whole, these A Married Dudes are not a gleaming endorsement for heterosexual marriage.

cosmia

@MilesofMountains Oh, absolutely. And if you HAVE to stay over at another lady's house as a Married Dude, tell your wife and reassure her everything's fine, then sleep on the couch ALONE for god's sake, NO CUDDLING.

antipretty

LW#1: Get out of it (i.e. your relationship).
LW#2: Stay out of it (i.e. his marriage).

I'm kiiiiiiiiind of in LW#1's situation in the sense that she is my future and girl I wish I was following my own advice. But yeah. Smoke, fire, etc.

lululemming

"Cocktease" is not appropriate at all (her crime, is not after all, acting like she's going to have sex with him and then not) but "asshole" certainly is. She knows it's not cool to condone or encourage the married dude's attempts to cheat, but and she's doing it anyways. And even if she's "naive", she now knows he's into her and says she's still open to him spending the night in her bed. Asshole.

City_Dater

@lululemming

Oh yes. This dude has crossed some sexist language lines in his advice, but the young lady is either clueless or a nasty piece of work. Knowingly messing around with someone else's partner is rotten, period. It's on him to respect his vows, but on her to cut out the situational ethics bullshit and shut him down.

redheaded&crazy

@lululemming Totally. I agree with you. Why not just remove the sexist language and call a spade a damn spade? I know this has been raked over above but really, was that proofread?

The thought of somebody I'm married to cuddling some other chick and lying to me about it makes my heart hurt. Asshole = devoid of empathy for other people.

eta: I think the dude is an asshole too, obviously.

Melusina

AMD: Agree with the sentiment (ie that LW2 needs some tough love), but I really could have done without the sexist language. It's just not on.

LW2: Most people do not initiate cuddles IN BED with people who they don't have a thing for. Now you know.

lisma

Sorry to be off-topic, but who else is seeing the Once Burned: A Night Prince Novel ad?? It looks like a romance novel got invaded by dementors.

TheUnchosenOne

@ginalouise The cover is kind of silly-looking, I feel.

Ham Snadwich

@ginalouise - That dude has all the abs.

redheaded&crazy

@ginalouise I posted about this earlier like two seconds before the sponsored ad post thing went up and then I felt weird about it and took it down.

BUT OH MY GOD. PRINCE OF NIGHT. MORTAL PASSIONS IGNITE.

I actually don't even have words.

Ham Snadwich

@redheaded&crazie - You don't have any words because your mortal passions have ignited?

roadtrips

@ginalouise I am! and I love it

redheaded&crazy

@Ham Snadwich exaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaactly *fans self*

cosmia

@ginalouise Oh my god every time I go on the Hairpin at work I need to hide it (more than usual, I mean) because my boss might think I'm reading harlequin romance novels online.

Megasus

@ginalouise I actually posted on twitter how sad I am that we can't comment on the sponsored post.

Xanthophyllippa

@redheaded&crazie It's because a Dementor kissed you on the forehead, isn't it?

fabel

Dude was spot-on with 1 and two. The guy in one sounds like a cheater who knows what he's doing-- that is to say, he's being very deliberate ("Is it possible I'm thinking about you too much?" ughhh really?) A deliberate cheater will also do things like...tell you about his friendship with the woman he's cheating/looking to cheat with, so as not to arouse suspicion? "But I know she exists!" is not proof that he's being faithful.

As for LW2... platonic cuddling is an oxymoron. Setting a married dude up on your floor should have involved ending whatever conservation you guys were having (preferable sooner than 7 hours in), handing him some blankets, chirpily saying "good-night!" & slamming your bedroom door.

City_Dater

@lululemming

Oh yes. This dude has crossed some sexist language lines in his advice, but the young lady is either clueless or a nasty piece of work. Knowingly messing around with someone else's partner is rotten, period. It's on him to respect his vows, but on her to cut out the situational ethics bullshit and shut him down.

annev6

Oh my God.
LW #1's story made my stomach turn.
LW #2 damn near sealed the deal on the vomit train.
EVERYONE NEEDS TO GET OUT NOW.

redheaded&crazy

I have totally thought I was doing platonic cuddling when the other person was into me and therefore not construing it as platonic cuddling.

BUT I only did it once. Because I realized. I mean, the first time it happens when you're watching a movie with a friend and they kinda scooch on closer and then put their head kind of closeish to your lap it's like ... well shit. What is the most graceful way to extract yourself from that situation? I mean, I'm seriously asking this. Me: "Easy there."

Anyways I got into capital-t TROUBLE for that one and I wasn't even in a relationship at the time! an ex-relationship.

soooo yeah if only one person thinks it's platonic cuddling it's not platonic cuddling. I don't know if platonic cuddling even exists. The words platonic cuddling are melding into mush in my brain.

annev6

@redheaded&crazie I don't think it does. I mean, I come from a wonderfully non-emotional WASP-y family that very rarely even hugs, so the idea of any kind of platonic or meaningless touching is very foreign to me. I am not a fan of touching in general though usually? I dunno. Maybe if you're used to physical affection between friends it's not such a big deal? That's a big big maybe though.

meetapossum

@redheaded&crazie That is what's troubling me the most about LW2, and I do think she deserves a stern talking to (though maybe minus sexist name-calling, but not without actual name calling). How do you honestly ask, "Am I abusing our friendship for platonic cuddling from a married man who has a thing for me?" and not already know the answer?

paddlepickle

@redheaded&crazie Platonic cuddling exists, but only if no non-platonic feelings exist between the cuddling parties. I am a big fan of platonic cuddling, especially with more than one person. I may or may not have spent a lot of time in my life in a bed with a lot of my friends, singing "The Answer My Friends Is A Bed Full Of Friends"*.

*I have

redheaded&crazy

@paddlepickle But whatttt if there are secret non-platonic feelings?? I thought I was doing totally platonic cuddling, but it turns out I wasn't! Because the other person was not feeling platonic about it...

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

@meetapossum You ask because you need attention like whoa and the married man's isn't enough...That sounded harsher than I meant it to, but really who doesn't have THAT friend with drama?

annev6

@redheaded&crazie Err on the side of not touching. NO TOUCHING! Bleh. I have issues.

paddlepickle

@redheaded&crazie Then you weren't platonic cuddling, you were double-secret non-platonic cuddling! Totally a different thing. But platonic cuddling CAN exist. Obviously there's some emotional risk when you cuddle with anyone for any reason, but I say it's worth it for the cuddles! Communication is good, though. God, I sound like a fucking hippie.

TheUnchosenOne

@paddlepickle Exactly this! The problem is that it can be difficult to make sure there are no non-platonic feelings on either side. I mean, I have lady friends for whom I have no active interest in, but if they ever expressed interest in me I would think about it. I also have lady friends I could never see myself dating, or engaging in sexytimes with.

redheaded&crazy

@annev6 oh these days I err ALLLLL THE WAY OVER.

@paddlepickle right now I am cuddling with somebody who told me that "sex feels more meaningful when we cuddle after" which is really not relevant to platonic cuddling but it makes me go awwww and i just wanted to tell somebody so I'm telling you guys.

annev6

@The Hyperbolic Julia Set Also can we talk about this town that has no taxi cabs and a public transit system that closes and leaves people stranded everywhere? Are they in Alaska?
Yeah, no. People don't lie about where they are if they're honestly stranded. You know the dude totally pulled a "well since I'm just at Bob's house anyway I'll just stay here" when he was ACTUALLY AT SOME YOUNG LADY'S HOUSE. Bleh!
I seriously hate/love everything about this installment.

whizz_dumb

@annev6 My personal policy is you hug your friends while standing upright and that is sweet and all good as long as said hug lasts no more than 5 seconds. When you hug someone laying down on a bed for any amount of time it crosses the friend line.

TheUnchosenOne

@redheaded&crazie Aaaawwww!

Also the way this is phrased makes it sound like you are cuddling right now, after having sex, and posting about it on the Hairpin.

redheaded&crazy

@TheUnchosenOne hah! you're right. sadly no. but I wish!!!

TheUnchosenOne

@whizz_dumb 5 seconds sounds reasonable. Exceptions can be made when comforting people during sadtimes.

TheUnchosenOne

@redheaded&crazie NO TOO LATE I HAVE ALREADY DECIDED THAT IS HOW IT WENT DOWN.

WAIT THAT SOUNDED CREEPIER THAN I MEANT IT. FUCK.

Megasus

@redheaded&crazie Oooh man so my friend had a touchy feely boyfriend in high school, and he totally was all up ons me, and I was uncomfortable and 17 so I didn't say anything. He definitely cheated on her once he went away for school.

paddlepickle

@TheUnchosenOne I mostly limit my platonic cuddling to:

1. People whose sexual orientation makes non-platonic feelings unlikely
2. People I've known FOREVER and if any non-platonic feelings exist they are WAY, WAY buried
3. People I have had non-platonic relations with but we're just waaay way past it and it's totally ancient history (OK, just one person in this category and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else but it works for us)

No major faults in this system thus far.

MilesofMountains

@annev6 Yeah, I wondered about lack of taxis too. I live in a town with no public transportation and the taxi drivers are a mother-daughter team who share a single van...and unless I was way out of town I could still get a cab home. It definitely wasn't "stay at her place or sleep in a ditch"

TheUnchosenOne

@paddlepickle I had one person in category 3, with an extra helping of "Our romantic relationship was a Goddamn disaster, and the idea of starting one again is laughable."

meetapossum

@paddlepickle Thank you! I'm really bothered by the whole "is platonic cuddling even a THING??" discussion. Yes, it is. Some people can do it, and some people can't. Do I think that what was really happening in LW2's letter? No. And even if she didn't know then that Kyle had non-platonic feelings for her, she sure as hell knows now and needs to knock it off.

TheDragon

@meetapossum I've witnessed platonic car cuddling!
I came home with a trashed best friend after her 22nd birthday, and she made a bee-line for the garage. I asked where she was going and she mumbled something about "Lonely little SUV. All alone in the cold." I checked on her when she didn't come back in and she was spooning her car's left front tire.
Sorry. That story is just TOO good not to share.

packedsuitcase

@meetapossum I'm totally a platonic cuddler! It usually has to be either after potential non-platonic feelings have been squashed, or in situations where it is highly unlikely (straight girl cuddles, straight girl gay guy cuddles, and the like), but my favourite thing about my group of friends in college were our puppy heaps - big group cuddles while watching movies. Oh, platonic cuddles are The Best.

paddlepickle

@TheUnchosenOne Yeah, there's a healthy dose of that in my category 3, as well. A lot of our conversations these days end with me going "OH MY GOD HOW DID I EVER DATE YOU" followed by a friendly punch in the stomach.

Rachel Cohen@facebook

Ok so i'm SURE somebody has said this in the 8000 comments i've been too lazy to read, but apparently it needs saying over and over again.
''Dudes are usually going to take any sort of physical proximity like sharing a bed as some sort of invitation or consent. ''
WTF Married dude? Where did that come from? You know what that is? RAPE APOLOGISM. Because if 'most dudes' think thats consent, them 'most dudes' are RAPISTS or POTENTIAL RAPISTS. Whilst yeah, stop sleeping in beds with married men because its just not on, the fact of being in bed doesn't mean consent to a god damn thing. I expected better on the Hairpin, and i'm really Fu**ing angry.

TheUnchosenOne

@Rachel Cohen@facebook Someone did say it but we can never ever stop saying it until we don't need to anymore.

PatatasBravas

@Rachel Cohen@facebook Yes. Yes. I am fucking angry and exhausted and horrified and disappointed. And I hope that the Hairpin will not host this AaMD again, and that all future AaD/AaMD will read it and learn.

TheUnchosenOne

@PatatasBravas I also think this A Married Dude should probably not be back.

Judith Slutler

@PatatasBravas Not only do you have the best username, but you also have the best opinions!

packedsuitcase

@Rachel Cohen@facebook Yeah, that filled me with a serious rage.

Ironika Leigh

It's ABSOLUTELY FINE for your fiance to fuck other (engaged) women as long as you all like the same kind of dogs. That is exactly what sustains long-term relationships. Trust and fidelity are way overrated.

The lede was buried. Next time start with "my currently cheating bf is the greatest bf in the world. We have the same taste in dogs." It's not really a question that way. Right?

whizz_dumb

@Ironika Leigh hahaha I read "best dog breed" over and over to try and glean some sarcasm out of it. Because everyone knows the best dog breed is mutt. I'll also accept Australian Cattle Dog + fox mix.

Ironika Leigh

@whizz_dumb Not only is he lying and cheating, he's lying UNDER THE PRETENSE OF "COMING CLEAN."

He's a scumbag who's made her think he's as good as she can get. Sad.

whizz_dumb

@Ironika Leigh yeah the whole thing reeks of slimy manipulation and it is upsetting. But they like the same dog so AWWWW.

Ironika Leigh

@whizz_dumb And tv shows. What could be more important?

I'm just going to say this because someone has to. His penis is probably not the same size as other guys'. I feel like this is what guys tell girls they've been with from second grade to keep them under their thumbs (so to speak).

But, baby, I'm not cheating on you. That was a random email because I was drunk. And we both like golden retrievers. Who else is going to love you? Come on, give me a little tug and put this behind us."

Honey, there is bigger and there is better out there. If you get lucky, there's bigger and better out there.

mystique

Dear Marrieds, I have a question for you: when you first met/dated the person you married, what did you think of them?

Just curious, as I'm Indian American* so I don't get many of these stories...and when I do, everyone ends up spending at least one year apart for school/work! I know a few times when that's happened among (my non-Indian, young twentysomething, coupled-for-good) friends, but not usually when the couple is still together -- then it turns into a "nothing good gets away" situation....

*Arranged marriages FTW in about half my extended family! Except when they aren't?

wee_ramekin

@mystique Ooooo, not A Married, but just commenting so that I get e-mail updates on this thread. I L.O.V.E. "how we met" and "what we thought when we met" stories!

EpWs

@mystique Hopping on the comment train for storiesssss!
(I am not A Married, but I have a long-term boyfran and when we first met he was, um, dating my then-best friend? I am the worst. BUT we didn't get together until after they'd been broken up (for unrelated reasons) for six months, and also we were 15 at the time.)

terrific

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Comment train a-choo!

Better to Eat You With

@mystique
Mine's nice and boring and mushy. We were kind of school rivals in college, in the same major, competitive to be the "best" at something entirely non-hierarchical (writing), had lots of classes together. Did not like one another. He sat behind me in a lit class every day, so eventually I offered him some of my Starburst. He snatched the package out of my hand, read the ingredients, and shoved it back at me, saying, "I can't eat this. It has gelatin in it." It was then that I noticed the plastic (animal-free) shoes.

Time passes. Big, big university, but we run into each other everywhere for, like, a year and a half? We make out in a parking lot after some bars. We make out in a bar. These instances are separated by months of little-to-no contact.

Eventually he comes into the restaurant where I work, sits in my section, starts flirting. We go out for drinks later. That was 13 1/2 years ago. We've been married for almost 7 of them.

vunder

@mystique The moment I met him I thought "why have my friends been hiding this attractive person from me?" but I had a lame boyfriend and he had a live-in girlfriend. Sooner (for me) or later (for him) these things went away and we each started spending more time with this friend group. But it was like 2+ years later that we got together.

mackymoo

@mystique Also not married, but I went to college with my boyfriend though we didn't start dating until end of junior year. We had a class together freshman year, but have no memory of each other being in that class even though we sat in the same row. He had a mohawk at the time and I was in a ltr anyway. We didn't even know each other's name until late sophomore year, but then we studied abroad in London together and became best friends. We both had a mad crush on each other, but were too shy to say so and didn't want it to ruin our friendship if the other didn't reciprocate. Then we got back to the States, got drunk, and woke up together. Then we moved in together and graduate degrees and are pretty much blissful all the time.

cuminafterall

@mystique Not married, but we're coming up on our 6-year date-a-versary. I met my boyfriend in a college seminar-- my first thought was "who is this cute boy who keeps agreeing with me?" I had a really big crush, we hung out a bit that semester, over the summer break we were good long-distance listeners and friends for one another, and when we came back to school I asked him on a date! Which we had to cancel because he went to the ER. But then we went out the next night! We've been together ever since.

WhiskeySour

@mystique I don't know if this will answer your question very well, but I love telling people about how I ended up married.

I'm kind of a weird married in that I've known Mr. Sour since I was...13 years old? I like to joke that I've known him almost half my life. We met in high school, specifically doing theater. He was a couple years ahead of me, so he had a kind of upperclassman mystique where he seemed so much older, so much more sophisticated and worldly, and so unattainable. When I was a sophomore and he was a senior, my best friend (still a very good friend of mine) and I both developed crushes on him (we went to a small high school.) But Mr. Sour and I never dated in high school.

He went to college out of state and two years later I went to college in our home state and our schedules matched up quite well because we both went to colleges that were on the quarter system rather than semesters, so we were hanging around our hometown a lot later than most other college students in the summers. We spent a lot of time together but we were mostly just good friends.

I guess at some point we both developed feelings for each other? On spring break I went to a friend's hometown which happened to be the same town that Mr. Sour's college is in. I decided to give him a call and Mr. Sour, my friend, and I hung out quite awkwardly for a night. The next weekend back at my college, I decided to call him up and see if he wanted to hang out (at a crappy college party.) He agreed and we hooked up. He was actually coming back to our home state for the summer, so we decided to date. He says he went into it thinking we'd just have a summer-only thing, as I was heading on study abroad in the fall. But at the end of the summer, we decided we really had feelings for each other and to try to make the long-distance thing work. We emailed each other every day while I was gone and we stuck it out. And eventually got married. And I love being married to someone who was a great friend before he ever became my partner. And our four-year wedding anniversary is on Thursday!

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

@mystique I thought my Mr. was good looking, but he talked funny, I thought he was a drama queen when I first met him because he was in the middle of SO MUCH DRAMA and he was taken. Found out later it was the crazy then-girlfriend that was drama and once he was free of her, which took some time, he was pretty cool.
I'm not a good example for long marriages though since we've only been married for the better part of a year.
I think I'm sensing a trend in these comments and in the other marrieds I know though and that's that for most, when a person meets their future spouse, he or she is not who they are envisioning as a potential SO let alone spouse. There ARE, of course, exceptions. My brother in law told his brother (my husband) that he was going to marry his wife the day he met her. She constantly turned him down for dates for about 4 years but eventually things changed and now they're married.

angelene

@mystique I too was good friends with my boyfriend for a long time. Until that point I'd associated love with feeling nervous around a person, butterflies etc. Around him I felt safe and comfortable straightaway, so it took a long time to admit the attraction – it felt like a risk, because we were such good friends, but this turns out to be a good foundation for a relationship, who knew? ;-) I know others whose relationships are more suspenseful/less 'safe', and that works for them, but for me it's a very comforting thing. I didn't realise on first meeting him that I would end up in a relationship with him, but I did feel at ease and trusted him. In retrospect the attraction was there from very early on, but it took a while for it to get un-ignorable. :-)

angelene

@mystique My parents had more of a 'love at first sight' sort of experience, so that does happen. But being instantly relaxed seems to be a common theme – feeling like you're where you should be.

noodge

@mystique I didn't see this until today, and I love my "how we met" story, so hope it's not boring/dunzo by now...

Mr. Teenie and I saw each other at a club - it was an awesome dance night, but for some reason I kept getting humped by dudes I didn't like. I'd seen Mr. Teenie outside when I was locking my bike, and liked what I'd seen, so in my mind I thought "if I'm going to be humped, let's make it enjoyable at least"... so I beckoned to him, he came out and we danced the rest of the night, with a few short breaks. We had a date just over a week later, a Sunday brunch, and that went really well - lasted over 4 hours.

I was pretty smitten right away, but jaded (from a divorce, shitty dating scene etc) so I was emotionally taking it slow. But by the third date I was horribly hooked. I knew it was Big Time with this guy.

He says he fell in love at first sight. As much as I feel prone to dismissing that, apparently he was telling his sister and father about me THE NEXT DAY, hoping that I would call him. Which, gosh it's even making me blush now, almost 3 years later.

We're getting married in September. :-)

Bebe

@mystique We were introduced by a mutual friend, who kept trying to set us up on a blind date, but we both kept refusing to go on a blind date. So she arranged for a group of people to all meet for drinks one night. Very, very first impression? I thought he was cute, but kind of short (I was wearing 6" heels) - he thought I was pretty but too tall (again, heels - he is actually taller than me when I am barefoot). The very first thing he ever said to me was, "Hi. Can I get you a drink?", so you know, I was open-minded. :) ANYWAY - we totally hit off, a million, "me toos!", talked all night, had a great time. We ended up sharing a cab home because we were both headed the same direction. He never, ever kissed me or even asked me for my number. Just got out of the cab and mumbled, "Ok, bye. Nice to meet you." So naturally, I thought, "Eh, that's too bad. I kind of liked him. Oh well."

The next day, mutual friend called and said he wanted my number. We did the whole "no he doesn't/yes he does" a few times, and finally she just said, "I am standing here, in his apartment, and he made me call you right now to ask if it was OK for me to give him your number."

Turns out, he DID like me, he was just trying to be a gentleman - which is kind of like being a unicorn in the NYC dating scene, so I did not understand it at all. Obviously, it worked out - that was 9+ years ago, and we just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. And I am happy to report, he is still a gentleman. Usually.

Bebe

@cuminafterall I just read yours, and I have to say that "Who is this cute boy who keeps agreeing with me?" is like, the BEST first thing to think about your future SO.

mystique

@Bebe Haha, I thought that too! I love that -- I must admit I asked because I'm getting serious relationship vibes from someone I didn't think would pan out (because of timing). I've also never gotten these vibes from anyone AND had them pan out! Space & time still seem to be against us...but hearing all these stories make me feel better about being hopeful.

EpWs

@Bebe SIX INCH HEELS? Respect, girl. Reeeeespect.
I believe that my first thought upon seeing my boy for the first time was probably "Wow, he's tall." He's only sixteen inches taller than me, nbd. His main memory from when we met is that I was wearing a dumb hat. (This is true. It was JULY and I thought I'd be weird and wear this bizarre wool felt bucket hat thing to the OUTDOOR CAMP I was at. The whole time. I don't know, I plead the "I was 14 at the time"th?)

m. marie

@Better to Eat You With This is all too cute, but "competitive to be the "best" at something entirely non-hierarchical (writing)" was the best part.

Amphora

I just really like the mental picture of Kim from the Real Housewives of Atlanta picking her nose with her ring.

Xanthophyllippa

@Amphora Me too. I actually imagined the ring would have a little finger on it instead of a stone.

missupright

HAIRPIN. I have a question. And this is not the place, I know. I should write in and wait, but I feel like the commentariat might have something useful to say. And, as a bonus, it does start off like ALL the questions to A Dude, or A Lady, or whoever.

I have...a wonderful boyfriend. He's kind, he's clever, he's funny and beautiful and we have a really good, communicative sexlife, and we fit, for whatever reason. We just fit. I wouldn't be surprised if we were together a long, long, long time. And I adore him, and I am absolutely 100% certain he adores me. Our families get on. We have some things in common, but not everything, he has flaws, so do I, we talk about everything. It is the healthiest relationship, romantic or not, that I've ever had. Nothing festers. He's a really, really good guy.

AND YET. And yet I cannot stop panicking. I cannot stop fretting that something awful is going to happen, and it is going to ruin it. That he's going to decide he doesn't love me, or that he'll get hit by a bus, or that he'll kiss someone else, or or ANY NUMBER of stupid, completely irrational possibilities. He knows I panic- will go out of his way to reassure me- he is SO good about it- but I'm still tired of it. I'm tired of being upset and worried. I know it's irrational. I know it's stupid. But it doesn't stop me worrying. So, Hairpin. Please tell me what I should do. If you know.

EpWs

@missupright Talk To Him. Also, anti-anxiety medications! Also, mini golf!
Edit: read your comment fully, so addendum: Talk To Him More. And then remind yourself that brains make thoughts like butts make poops and none of it necessarily means anything.

Love,
A Worrier

wee_ramekin

@missupright You, my darling, should take a look at some therapists. I have a friend who has struggled with anxiety all of her life, and when she went to a therapist and got on the lowest dosage possible of anti-anxiety medication, I'm not joking when I say it changed her life.

This is the sort of situation that is a good candidate for some therapeutic intervention, since it seems like there's a part of you that realizes that your anxiety doesn't have roots in any actual problem. Look up some therapists in your area -- they will help!

wharrgarbl

@missupright Hie thee to a counselor. This is probably about more than your relationship with this dude, and a professional can help you start to approach really good things from a healthier perspective. Like, this is probably not the only great thing in your life that you are/have been too afraid of it not being there anymore to really enjoy? In the meantime, they can set you up with some mild anti-anxiety medications or some behavioral modifications to help you out while you're figuring it out.

EpWs

@missupright It occurs to me that you may or may not have been around the 'Pin when that particular quote (brains, thoughts, butts) was uttered by one A Lady (perhaps A Married Lady?) gave out that sage advice. So full disclosure, that was from A Lady who is wiser than I!

PistolPackinMama

@missupright I just nearly threw up submitting change of grade forms for students. No one cares about the grade changes. No. One. Except the students. It is a boring job done done done!

And I have been on the verge of vomiting ALL DAY.

You know what? Before counseling and meds? I would have thrown up. Asking a pro is a really good way to get rolling on handling ALL THE PANIC.

Not that they are going to dose you, like, tomorrow. They might have other suggestions. I am just saying, that helped me out a lot. Something else, or that, might help you.

missupright

@missupright Oh, gosh. Aren't you all lovely. I think, probably, you are all right, and I will do this when I get back to a country where I can speak the language fluently enough to worry coherently in it and also where I can afford it.

It is almost certainly not about this dude. I know all my fears about him are pretty much groundless- he does the Right Thing more consistently than any one else I know. Who knows exactly how much I panic and how to calm me down- which is really good when he's around, but, you know, he has a life too, and he can't always be there, and also, I need to be able to deal with this by myself. So. Give it a month, and I will be back in a country where I know how to deal with health professionals. Thankyou, lovely people. Really reassuring to have a Plan.

TheUnchosenOne

@missupright Let us know how things go.

wharrgarbl

@missupright Hooray, reassurance!

In the month between now and being able to access care, you might want to try reframing your relationship with the dude and with good things in general. Like, yes, he might get his by a bus. You can't control that. But you can control how actively you appreciate your time with him and how mindful you are of the pleasure you take in his company. It's kind of like proper mindfulness--instead of just snuggling on the couch and watching tv, you take the moment or two to consciously appreciate the way his hand feels in yours or the way you get each other's jokes or how his shoulder makes the best pillow. The idea is that you defuse some of that tension by knowing that if something did happen, you'd know you hadn't taken anything for granted.

You also might want to take sort of a life-inventory and see if you can't reduce or eliminate some common sources of free-floating anxiety that might be aggravating the situation. If your sleep habits are wacky, try to commit to a routine. If your diet's half junkfood, get back to fruit and veg. Eliminate as much sodium from your diet as you can, start taking vitamin D caps, meditate and exercise, that sort of thing. If your body's spending a lot of time going "Aaaaaaaah we should be running from something but I don't know what oh goooooooood" at you, it's going to overreact any time there is something you're concretely worried about, which can easily turn those sources of worry into huge anxiety Ground Zeroes because you can't think about them much without completely melting down.

Good luck!

noodge

@missupright Just read this today - sooo everyone else has said it well. I've been through it too. Therapy. Talk. Fun times. Relaxation. I, too, am a member of the "this is too good and I can't stop panicking" club, and I've managed to navigate it to the point where I'm not freaking out anymore (well, at least only once a month or so, damn you PMS!) So chin up! we're here for you, you can do it!

shadowkitty

@missupright Oh thank God it's not just me. I have just started seeing someone who, oddly enough, I first sexed up when he was just expecting a platonic cuddle.

How can this end well??

Statham

@A Married Dude

PREACH TO LW#1. PREACH.

Statham

@Statham And same goes for LW#2.

TheDragon

I have to admit, my friend's brother's proposal makes me laugh every time. The family was going on vacation at the Grand Canyon, and he was going to propose at sunset on the canyon edge. But on the drive out he got so nervous/excited that he couldn't wait. So he proposed to his girlfriend at a gas station in Southern Utah.
(She said yes)

MissCellaneous

@The Kendragon Stories like that are in some ways more romantic. Cute and funny trumps grand and fancy for me.

EpWs

@The Kendragon My dad proposed to my mom by waking her up after a week-long, very-little-sleep road trip (not the fun kind, more the hauling a horse trailer across the country on a deadline kind) she'd taken with a friend of hers. WOKE. HER. UP. Because he missed her so much while she was gone and didn't want to wait another minute. It's cute, until you put yourself in my poor mom's beyond exhausted shoes. (j/k, it's still adorable.) She likes to joke that she said yes just so he'd let her go back to sleep.

But it's all good, they're still adorable and happy 27 years later. They held hands while they napped on the plane this weekend. It was so cute I wanted to throw up a little bit.

contrary

@The Kendragon oh man, I totally thought you were going to say that he dropped the ring down the Grand Canyon.

packedsuitcase

@MissCellaneous Yes yes yes and yes. Love the guys that get soexcitedtheyhavetoaskrightnow.

pixieg

LW1 your boyfriend doesn't even respect you enough to TRY and act faithful. He doesn't respect you and you don't trust him (rightly) so get rid of him. He's a arse-wheeze.

LW2 you are full of shit. I don't know why anyone is defending you, apart from from the Married Dude's ridiculous misogyny. You KNOW that that's not appropriate. There are fucking boundaries! Yes the dude you're dealing with is a massive juicebox, but you are behaving badly and you know you are so stop it and stop feigning ignorance. You MUST KNOW to not cuddle in a bed with a married man who you hardly know. Sort yourself out and start thinking of other people. Also, make it clear to this dude that you're not interested and that you don't condone his behaviour. Married Dude: Don't make generalisations about genders even if you're a member of one, and FFS drop this bullshit word "cock-tease" that's just used to shame women into having sex like they owe it to anyone.

AND I DROP THE MIC.

EpWs

@pixieg TEACH IT LIKE YOU PREACH IT, SISTER

TheUnchosenOne

@pixieg WHOOOOOOOO!

PistolPackinMama

@pixieg THIS WAS TERRIFIC.

DandelionTacy

@vanillawaif I was just thinking the same thing! My train of thought was basically "Red Wings! Joe Louis! Detroit! I know them!"

Allisaurus

Hey Hairpin!! What do you do if you live in England and your boyfriend of three years is an English Guy, but your visa is up next year and you plan to move to California, and also you don't want to get married (because you are in your early 20's, jeez) even though it seems like he wants to in order to remain together? WHAT DO YOU DOOOOO

(I ask this as a thread-hijacking-comment because desperate times call for desperate measures)

Allisaurus

@Allisaurus (Seriously, I feel mad guilty about the hijacking, but I have been in teary-mode on and off for two days and I am nearing dehydration, THERE IS NO TIME TO WRITE IN)

wharrgarbl

@Allisaurus Like, he wants to come to California with you? Maybe look into his non-marital visa options and see if anything suits? Or check out the area in Cali you'll be going and see if any of the companies have guest-worker programs he could get into?

EpWs

@Allisaurus wharrgarbl is, at always, wise! Check out all your visa options, for both of you. Don't get married just because it seems like The Only Option! Only get married if, you know, you want to be married and forever and such. You know this already.

You say that it seems like he wants to get married--have you guys talked about all your options, including perhaps marriage (someday?)?

California obviously has a ton of people from overseas working there, I'm sure there's plenty of options for him. Also, you say you're in your early 20s--is he done with all the schooling he wants? Is a student visa an option for him? <----this is coming from someone who knows nothing about the visa system, so I may be completely cracked out here.

Research! You have some time to figure things out, which is good. If your visa was up, say, next week, that would be a panicky situation. This is plenty of time to figure out things, even if it feels like it's Impending Dooooom.

Allisaurus

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher and @wharrgarbl You are both wise ladies! Well, the issue here really is that he's ready to move in together, and said he saw things moving in a marriage direction eventually. He's a sweetheart and really, yes, wonderful, but I just am not at that place in my life? I guess? And to say, "Move to a different country with me on the off chance that these things you want will happen" seems like not the best move? Or is it? I know not, but I do know that Crystal Head vodka is delicious and I wish I could share!

EpWs

@Allisaurus Ah, okay, that's slightly different. Obviously don't do things before you're ready, and an international move PLUS moving in together in another country is A Lot. There's a fine line between a leap of faith ("Everything will be fiiiiiiine!") and pragmatism ("Everything might not be fiiiiiiine!") and girl, I skip all over that thing. For now, keep the lines of communcation open with your boyfriend, drink some vodka, and get your cuddle time in! I wish you could share toooooo.

packedsuitcase

@Allisaurus Oh girl. Okay, research visa options, yes. Number one priority. But, ummm...voice of semi-experience? Those relationships? The ones that started in your late teens and early 20s that you try to transition into the real world? They rarely work. And they super rarely work if you feel like you're being pressured into a situation that isn't ideal. And you are going to Change! and Grow!

Honestly, I might actually try the distance thing first. Really. It gives you a great sense of how badly you actually want to be together, and if it's Not That Badly, Actually, you are already kind of living a life where you're not going to have to suddenly fill hours of your day that he took up and you can just throw yourself into the new place.

Just, you know...from painful experience in the "Move here with me and maybe magically these plans will work out!" kind of way.

wharrgarbl

@Allisaurus Yikes! If you're not really feeling great about a big commitment like that, definitely don't do it. It sounds like it sort of boils down to whether or not Boyfriendsaurus wants to move to California for a little while. It's hardly an undoable thing, and there's not a lot of potential for harm if he actually would like to go for his own reasons (study abroad for a year, beef up his resume, long-term tourism, etc.) in addition to staying with you. But if the only reason he'd be going would be to stay with you, it's going to be a big hassle and put a lot of stress on the relationship and ratchet up expectations that it doesn't sound like you're super-comfortable meeting.

So, talk it out and do some visa research and definitely don't commit to anything huge that you're not comfortable with, because that wouldn't be fair to either of you.

Melusina

@Allisaurus Speaking from semi-experience as well, in that I did marry an English guy and I am now stuck in Wales, I mean, I live in Wales (I love Wales, honestly)....Do not get married sooner for visa purposes than you would have otherwise. If he's the one for you, then your relationship will survive a bit of distance until you figure out a way to be together. We were long distance for almost a year before we got engaged and it was the best thing that could have happened to our relationship.

Also, just because you're married does not mean it's going to be easy for him to get a green card. In fact, unless you've been married for 5 years, it's still really complicated.

Melusina

@Melusina And something I forgot to say: I'm sorry to sound discouraging! It's all going to be ok. Eventually. One way or the other. Just talk things over, do your research, look for creative solutions, and don't panic.

RK Fire

@Allisaurus: Since you're in the UK--there seem to be all of these gap year programs in the UK that are meant to set people up with temporary work visas and the like. Maybe one of them could help him find some work or something in California? I mention it only because my husband and I just hatched a half-baked scheme last night to leave the US and travel the world for 3 months-1 year, but we're trying to find ways where we can somehow get paid/learn from it and the UK seems to have a lot to help. I have been stalking BUNAC but their "work in the US" program for UK folks only seems to be for students. :(

New Hoarder

@Allisaurus @RK Fire I did BUNAC in the UK in order to be with my now-husband before resorting to marriage visas right away. I think the eligibility for BUNAC is you have to have been a full-time student (undergrad or grad) within the last six months.

RK Fire

@New Hoarder: That sounds about right. I'm looking at BUNAC for going to NZ with my husband and BUNAC for NZ or Australia is down with those of us who have been done with college--you just have to be under 35 for NZ or under 30 for Australia. However, that is a wholly different scenario.

New Hoarder

@RK Fire Oh, snap. Did not realize the NZ and AUS ones were so much more laid-back! Looks like my husband I will be leaving all of our stuff behind and going to NZ for a year!

On another note, my husband worked/ toured in Australia for a year (how I met him). So long as you're good with hospitality work, that's a very viable option!

RK Fire

@New Hoarder: Interesting! I don't want to threadjack any further but... yeah, let's just say I am very curious about BUNAC and I'm going to try open up a thread about it on Friday.

adorable-eggplant

Slut shaming on the hairpin. I'm so disappointed and furious at the same time. LW2, honestly, I would rather my boyfriend cuddle a million classmates with feeling than use the kind of misogynistic, derogatory terms that this asshole threw at you. He needs to check his f'ing privilege and get back to us (and you) with an apology.

Exene

I don't think "snogging" means what you think it means.

timesnewroman

@Exene It means kissing with tongues in British English... (quite old-fashioned now though)

Sparrow Morgan@facebook

Seems like the sort of fellow who is truly (I don't wanna say capable, but it's 4AM and I can't really think of a better word right now, so) capable of actually-platonic cuddling with pretty young gals also tends to be the sort of fellow who ends up in a marriage where he doesn't need to lie to his partner about spending the night at a lady-classmate's apartment. Because yanno, it seems like by the time a gal was married to said type of dude, she'd feel fairly secure that she had nothing to worry about.

Sparrow Morgan@facebook

Also, boo on the slut-shaming. Dude, you should be ashamed of yourself. Go take a long walk and think about what you've done, and when you come back, you should be ready to apologize.

Blousey Brown

Barf to everything in this column.

Grace Anne Boucher@facebook

Married Dude! I'm so sad! You've always been my favorite married dude, but this language is NOT acceptable. Seriously. NOT. You're writing an advice column. This woman came to you for advice. I don't care what she's done, you should be speaking to her with respect. Or at least with common politeness. Quite apart from the shameful sexism implied in you comments, the comment its self was beneath you.

pilcrow

@Grace Anne Boucher@facebook I know - I thought more people would be calling him out. Cocktease, really? Plus, can we accuse her of essentially having an affair with the guy *and* cockteasing him?

And obviously "no" to the "friendship" with the guy, but since she wrote in for advice it's clearly not obvious to her. She needs clarity, not a FU.

Grace Anne Boucher@facebook

Also, am I the only person who has had legitimately platonic cuddling experiences with hetero men? Because... it's a thing. I don't think that that's what was happening with LW2, but people can take physical comfort and affection from each other without it being sexual. All sorts of people, of all genders and sexual preferences.

redheaded&crazy

@Grace Anne Boucher@facebook You aren't the only person! Other people have talked about it as well!

I've engaged in what I thought was platonic cuddling but then it turned out the other person had feelings for me (I guess like in this scenario except I didn't keep going back for more). So I guess I am physically/emotionally capable of platonic cuddling!

antilamentation

@Grace Anne Boucher@facebook I think it matters that the husband LIED to his wife about the LW: staying the night with her, and then sleeping together in her BED, and then with the cuddling.

There is lying to his wife. There is time in bed time with the LW. This does not = legitimate platonic cuddling.

pilcrow

@antilamentation Very true. But there were a lot of people saying that all cuddling was sexual. I've definitely had cuddle partners where I wasn't attracted (or repulsed) by the person, we just used each other for physical contact therapy. But then I am a touchy person and get moped when I am isolated. It's possible that the other person was either romantically or sexually into me and just hid it, but I don't think so.

Grace Anne Boucher@facebook

@antilamentation OH, I totally agree. Like, this is NOT an acceptable situation. And obviously not platonic for him, at least. But, I just think it should be noted that platonic cuddling is not impossible.

antilamentation

@pilcrow I think it's possible to have non-sexual cuddling as well. Can't always tell what's going on with the other person, but that's why I think contextual cues are helpful. The LW's sheer cluelessness about aiding and abetting the husband to lie to his wife says to me that she didn't give enough thought to that.

antilamentation

@Grace Anne Boucher@facebook I can agree with that. In a way, what I find sad is the letterwriter's cluelessness/carelessness is a bad advert for the possibility of platonic cuddling.

MagnificentMess

LW#1, run, not walk, RUN as far away from this guy as is humanly possible. Speaking as a girl who appears to have dated your boyfriend's twin, this does not end well. Save yourself months (or years) of future heartbreak and disappointment by DTMFA and beginning the moving on process.

antilamentation

LW1, when you found out your dude had kissed the other woman, and then when he broke up with you so he could have sex with her, how did you feel? I bet you felt like he punched you in the heart and ripped out your guts, right? That's how I've felt when I've been broken up with in the past so that my dude could date another woman. If this guy loves and treasures you, if he values your relationship even a tenth as much as you seem to value him and it, he should now be so damn sorry to have hurt you. If he loves you, he should feel in his own heart and guts an echo of the hurt he caused you, and that should make him think twice about doing anything similar. He should be motivated into putting his energy into rebuilding things with you. NOT sending out feelers to other ENGAGED women, trying to find out if they'd like to have an affair with him.

Because that's clearly what he's doing in that email. "Is it possible I'm thinking about you too much?" That's a clown question, bro.

I'd say: take this relationship as a learning experience (and not the final destination), in terms of continuing to discover what you do and don't like in a guy. Likes can include things such as: you are both fans of the same breed of dog. But remember that dislikes should include things like: HE EMOTIONALLY PUNCHED ME IN THE GUT AND RIPPED OUT MY HEART, AND THEN WHEN I TOOK HIM BACK, HE GOT SET TO STAB ME IN THE BACK AGAIN.

Don't take him back again. And for God's sake, don't go on talking about marriage (WTF?!) with this man. As you say, this guy is now hitting on an ENGAGED woman. He's no respecter of marriage. If you were unlucky enough to end up in one with him, what makes you think he'd respect your mutual vows one bit?

Like I said, you've discovered some of what you like from men in the relationship with him. So maybe go join a kennel club for your favourite dog breed. Meet other guys there who also love the same type of dog. Discover that on a planet of 7 billion people, there are going to be more than one guy out there who has common interests with you, with the added benefits of not being a lying, cheating scumbag who rips your heart and guts out at will, and then expects you to be OK with that/him.

Honestly, with all the love, devotion and generosity you seem to have in you to give to a partner, you can find a much better guy out there. Re-invest just one tenth of the emotional energy you've already put into trying to rebuild things with this guy, into dumping his sorry ass and untangling yourself from the relationship, and then when you're ready for a fresh start, and with the love and support of your friends and dog(s), put all of that loving energy into looking for someone new and better. You'll be doing yourself, and your current and future dog(s) the best favour that way.

LW2, you are pretty much in an emotional cheating relationship with LW1's dude. Look at what LW1 wrote. She sounds like she's hurting and confused, right? THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO THE WIFE OF THIS ASSHOLE, WHO IS USING YOUR BED, YOUR PERSON AND YOUR CLUELESSNESS ABOUT APPROPRIATE BOUNDARIES TO LIE AND CHEAT ON HIS WIFE.

For fuck's sake drop this asshole from your life, and go and find some decent friends to hang out with, and/or a fella of your own. I mean, what kind of "friend" gets you to help him lie to his wife?! And for that matter, I think you really need to think about the consequences of your actions. Think about how you do or don't want to impact other people. You wouldn't walk up to a random woman in the street, stab her in the heart and back, and punch her in the guts, right? So then why the fuck are you doing that to this poor guy's wife!? Because that is exactly how she is going to feel when she finds out that her husband has lied to her WITH YOUR HELP, has "feelings" for you (encouraged by your 8 hour chats with him), and has slept in your bed and cuddled you all night. How much pain would you be in, if your boyfriend or your husband did that to you? Why on EARTH would you want to do that to another woman?!

Stop it. Right now. And get yourself some better friends who are not assholes, and who can show you what good boundaries in friendships are (clue: they won't ask you to help them lie to their partners.) And then when you know what is appropriate in a friendship, you will be ready and set to find a guy of your own who can cuddle you as much as you want. There's no need to help yourself to some other woman's guy in the process. And even if you did, what makes you think he won't do the same thing to you in the future? He'll already have learned from you that he can get away with that type of behaviour, and that there are women out there who will be clueless or heartless enough to help him do it.

Married Dude, I see you are getting flack for your use of the words "cock-tease" and "home-wrecker". My take on this is that I felt a wave of shock and disgust reading LW2's letter, because the bad behaviour described in it (both on the part of the clueless LW, and the asshole married dude) felt abhorrent to me. I wish you had used different terms/language there. I do agree with showing disgust at the behaviour though. If LW2 had friends around her who did the same when she talked about what she did with that creep, perhaps she would have learned by now that that is not an appropriate way to behave.

I am glad you shared your proposal story, because after all that emotional WTF-ness, and the general fuckwittery of the behaviour of both guys in both those other letters, it is lovely to read about a dude proposing to his wife in a sane and loving manner. It's not my own cuppa tea in terms of how I got engaged in the past, or how I'd want to get engaged in the future, but that's not the point, I think. Great palate cleanser, and thank goodness for some happy/relationship marriage moments!

designchic255

Yeah, no, seriously. Dude is totally correct. It's pretty simple, even if it doesn't seem like it from the inside. Being cheated on? Get out. Being The Other Woman? For shame. Yes, Shame.

als382

Hey everyone, I'm LW1. First off, "wonderful" was meant sarcastically! VERY sarcastically! Given the royal screw-up I'd just described, I guess what I was saying was that Mr. Wonderful obviously wasn't as great as I'd thought beforehand.

For those of you who had questions, the dog breed was a Husky, and the big issues are a little bigger than for many people especially because our "no kids" preference narrows the dating pool more than you may think here in the midwest. As far as his defense of the letter to the engaged girl, he didn't have much of defense beyond "NOW it seems stupid, but I didn't think a lot of it at the time." Also, when he kissed the first girl, I punched him in the face. First time I've ever hit someone in the face, but it seemed appropriate and I don't regret it.

Also... I dumped him. On the spot, actually. We and a couple other people were living together (I wasn't on the lease, so no biggie) and I made him help me load up my car, and then I took off. I guess I was mostly looking for confirmation that I'd done the right thing. Not so much on the validation-of-our-relationship part.

Mr. Not-Wonderful is in therapy and for the first time since he was 15 (10 years) he's taking time to be single. I'm enjoying some much-needed Me Time. It worked out best for both of us. He was an emotionally damaged, selfish trainwreck of a person who wasn't able to give me 10% of what I deserved or needed, but I do hope he figures his shit out. So thanks for the back up on leaving him, everyone.

Oh and one last thing. We were sharing my computer since his was broken and he left that shit open in Gmail, which I also use. No snooping, promise. He's just a dummy!

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